Explain to them the huge stink comes when the wax or the newspaper ignites.
I would stay and guard the kiln the next time. You can re fire an
incomplete glaze firing. Basically the way it was vented probably is like
ours. If we are firing during the day, there is a burst of smoke between
300-700 degrees and we say "there goes the wax!!!" I go in the kiln room
and open the windows or doors to aid venting. Leave clear instructions id
you don't stay THAT YOU HAVE A TELEPHONE and if they are worried call you
at such a number..,DO NOT TURN IT OFF. Sounds to me like your got a
custodian like my old neighbor, who had a sensitive nose. Mind you the old
neighbor the shop teachers forge vented right back into my room in the
spring time and he didn't care, but make a few pots stuffed with toilet
paper to hold the shape and watch out!!!!
PS our fan shuts off when it has over heated... So sometimes we wonder just
how effective it is... Randy in Maine
> [Original Message]
> From: Jeannie <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group
> Date: 11/21/2007 3:54:46 AM
> Subject: [teacherartexchange] kiln troubles
> Can anyone advise me on this?
> Yesterday afternoon I started a glaze firing. When I left the building
> the temp was over 200 and it was a little stinky, but nothing unusual.
> However one hour later the custodian and teachers (it was parent
> teacher conference night) were freaking out as smoke was coming out
> the art room door which was closed. The kiln temp was in the 700s.
> So my thinking is that my kiln fan is inadequate or blocked up. But
> the head of maintainance was apparently so upset about this that he
> turned off the electric current at the breaker box on the kiln and
> another breaker box down the hall. That may have stopped the fan too.
> I need advice on how to proceed. School maintainance folks really do
> not have much experience or understanding about kilns or kiln safety.
> No do I. But I do think my kiln exhaust fan should be adequate to
> handle normal glaze firings, exhausting the fumes from the glaze and
> waxed bottoms. How can I test this fan I have?
> The kiln and fan were new when I took the job five years ago. All the
> decisions were made before I got there -- no idea how to tell if the
> fan was ever sufficient.
> I'm pretty sure they will not want me to fire the rest of these
> wonderful little bowls which I have done every year with my kids. This
> is not the first kiln incident. The kiln is sometimes stinkier than
> other times. One time it was empty and open and turned itself on (a
> power surge?) and a piece of newspaper hanging over the edge of the
> kiln (to protect my clothes from the rusty edge when I lean down into
> the bottom of the kiln) caught fire. And sometimes the kiln is just
> blamed anytime there is a fire-y smell in the building. I had been
> called to the school earlier in the day about this. The kiln was off.
> It turns out the students were making holiday feasts in the classrooms.
> Jeannie in PA, k - 5
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