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smoky kiln!!! -mostly griping, but advice is always good

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From: Davis, Lisa (davisli_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Nov 08 2000 - 09:13:10 PST


I have a question for all of you experienced art teachers. This is my first year teaching. I am doing a lesson with my 6th graders. They are making 2 pinch pots, stuffing them with paper towel, then joining them together. They leave the papertowel inside for support while they shape and form their pots. Since removing the papertowel often damages the unfired pottery, we left the paper inside to burn out in the kiln. I did this lesson during my student teaching (different kiln and ventilation) and there were no problems.

HOWEVER, I am having trouble with my room, and adjoining rooms, filling up with smoke. The yahoo who designed the kiln room put the kiln vent on a two hour timer. It will not run for more than two hours without being reset. Since the kiln cycle takes much longer than 2 hours, it needs to be reset many times. Last time I fired, it was over the weekend, and the windows were open. This time it was during the week and it was too cold to leave the windows open. So when teachers started getting here at 7:30 (I am part time and come at 10:00) the art room, health room, and computer lab were filled with a wall of white smoke. Needless to say, when I got here, I caught heck! I'm banned from using the kiln again until something is done with the ventilation. Oh ick. Hopefully I'll look back on this and laugh, but not yet......