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Re: [teacherartexchange] kiln failure


From: chris massingill (chris_massingill_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Apr 28 2007 - 06:58:26 PDT

I'm so sorry!
Yes, you're right about the kiln sitter - sadly they
can't always be trusted - sometimes if the cone
doesn't melt just right the sitter won't fall. I
usually put three cones in a piece of clay that I can
see through a peep hole just to double check. (one
cone for a lower temperature, one cone for the right
temperature and one cone for a higher temperature -
in that order - so I can keep an eye on how things are
going) A kiln, even with a kiln sitter, can't be
left unattended - you still need to check on it at the
time that you expect the sitter to fall - I find that
it's always best to turn a kiln off when I think it
should be and then refire later if the work is
underfired rather than let it go over - if you had
glazed pieces in the kiln that went that far over the
shelves and kiln brick could have been ruined by the
over fired glaze. I've had this happen to me in the
past and I used to fire at a kiln that was about 10
minutes from home - not that far, but far enough to
not want to go out at 2 am and check on things - for
years I kept a melted teapot that was originally about
12" tall and was the victim of an over firing (it
melted to 1 1/2" tall) on my desk as a reminder as to
why I needed to get in the car and go back out to
check on my firings.

Chris in Central Arkansas

--- wrote:

> funny that kilns are being discussed. My 5th graders
> made the
> most beautiful 3-d clay temples. We worked on them
> for 3
> weeks. So put a great amount of detail into them. I
> fired them
> and then realized I never put the kiln to high. The
> next day
> they looked white but the cone was not bent. One of
> our 6th
> grade teachers is a potter and sells her work. So I
> ask her
> and she say that I need to fire it again since the
> internal
> clay temp might not have reached the point it needed
> to. So I
> wait for it to cool down and then put in a fresh
> gone and re
> fire it. To my great dissappointment when I opended
> up the
> kiln it had melted all my students work. The cone no
> longer
> exhisted.
> Did this happen becuase my sitter or temp gauge
> failed? I have
> never had this happen to me. I am so upset and I
> know my
> students will be upset as well.
> ---
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