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Saturday, October 01, 2011

Fired The Kiln Today

The green looking piece on the top shelf is one of Jim's extrusions and it hasn't been bisqued. He wanted to try once firing. I know people do it, but I've never done it. So.... as I was firing the kiln, Jim told me he read that you have to be careful how you ramp the kiln with once fire. So I immediately slowed down the firing. Note to self: buy a digital pyrometer. 

Jim and the kiln. On the top shelf in the back right corner are pieces that are unglazed on the outside. I wanted to try reduction firing for low fire and I'm hoping some fun stuff went on with the unglazed clay. 

Jim made my cone packs for me and he didn't know that he should stick the cones into the clay about a quarter inch. I saw the cones fall over, not melted, just fallen over, while firing. Note to self: teach Jim how to make cone packs. 

I was able to tell when to start reduction, ^08 down. I saw, eventually, that ^05 was starting to melt at the edges, so I opened up the damper, shut off the inner burners, and put the outer burners on 1/4 open and let the kiln just sit for 15 minutes. Then I shut off the gas, closed the damper and put the things in the peep holes. Tomorrow, we'll see if I guessed right. 

Never heard of low fire reduction? What about raku? That's low fire reduction. Jim wants to try a test tile or two with raku glaze the next time I fire. 

Jim playing with his extruder. He found a bumper jack at the ReStore for $5, and turned it into an extruder. He's using PVC pipe to hold the clay and the dies. The nice part is the pipe come off and it's easy to clean. 

A few of Jim's extrusions. 

Covered bread pan made from mica clay. It needs to dry and be bisque fired. The lid is behind the pan. The pan is about 7x10 inches and about 6 inches tall. I made covered containers a while back and tested bread dough in the containers. The dough rose more than normal and I got a great crust. The inside of the pan and the inside of the lid will be glazed. I'm not fond of baking bread in unglazed clay. If the unglazed clay isn't greased and sprinkled with corn meal just right, one needs a demolition permit to get the bread out of the pan. 

I thought a teapot made from mica clay would be nice. The mica holds the heat so the tea would stay hot. I got as far as I could before I had to wait for the clay to harden a bit. I'm going to close in the top enough to suspend my tea strainer from the opening and I'll put a cute little spout like on a kerosene can on the pot. I'll put lugs on top and attach a bamboo handle. 

1 comment:

Keller Products Jan said...

The use of pvc extrusions is versatile making for another advantage of using these extrusions. Since the plastic extrusion process works only for manufacture of consistent cross-section moulds, with custom alterations in dimensions, many different products can be made from one process. For instance products such as plastic rods, tubes, seals, insulation covers can all be made from this process. Once a particular die has been designed for custom plastic extrusion it can be used consistently with room for adjustments say in size.