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Re: Kiln problems with mid fire white clay

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lindwood_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Wed Apr 09 2003 - 05:09:51 PDT


Oh yeah, Larry, set it at the slowest speed, and maybe even turn on the
kiln at low and just "soak" the work for a few hours before you actually
begin your firing. Leave the lid open with a prop in it. I turn a fan
on my pieces after one full day drying outside of the plastic. When I
have a room full of wet work in my kiln room, I leave pieces out to dry
overnight the first night without a fan, then I turn the fan on in the
kiln room with the doors closed overnight, but I don't aim the fan right
at the pieces I'm drying...just get lots of air circulating. On the 3rd
day, I might fire some of the smallest, definitely dry pieces, and on
that day, I'll leave the fan on, and I will put the larger pieces that
have been drying on top of the kiln to speed up drying the bottoms
completely. After a whole night on a hot kiln, most pieces are
definitely ready to go for their ride in the fire! You just don't want
to put anything really thick on the kiln until it is nearly dry, or it
might crack the bottom. I can almost always get everything in the kiln
on day 4. At Penland and Arrowmont, where I have taken some WONDERFUL
summer clay classes, we had to speed dry work, as we were only there for
2 weeks. We had one kiln that just ran on low all day long, every
day....we would put our pieces in there with the lid totally open all
day, and they would actually go in the kiln the next day!!!!!!! Don't
do this at home, folks, but it worked. None of my pieces broke or
anything bad. Drying them in the sun is good too, if they are of even
thickness.
Hope this helps you! It's heartbreaking sometimes to open those kilns
when things don't go as planned. Been there, done that.

Linda

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