Saturday, February 21, 2009
i'm stoked. no pun intended.
I didn't get off to a very good start this morning. I awoke early to perform my pre-firing ritual, mcdonalds sausage biscuits and caffeine, and discovered I had left my keys sitting in my wifes car, she was already long gone to work. Feeling a bit disgruntled I resigned myself to some peanut butter and jelly(consider this my mental note to go grocery shopping) and some iced tea. I'm slightly superstitious about my rituals so I fought with myself about wether or not to fire and decided to man-up and get it over with. I started at about 8:30am and it went fairly smooth for a first firing, though not without its hiccups. I had what I thought to be enough wood for what I call pre-stoking(small wood to get up to about 1500 degrees) but it turns out that this kiln has one heck of an appetite, not just in volume but also how fast it burns it up. So at about 1200 degrees I was frantically trying to chop small pieces of wood and stoke and yelling and getting mad at anything that was frustrating me, but after that it was smooth sailing. That being said this was my first firing using a passive damper which could've slowed down the rapid burning in the early stages, lesson learned. The only other major hiccup was not having enough salt. My old kiln used maybe 4 pounds and since I was reusing all the salt coated bricks I thought 12 pounds would be sufficient. After the 12 pounds was up I pulled the last test ring and it was still pretty dry. I ran into the house and came up with about 2 pounds of salt and found a couple 4 pound boxes that had gotten wet and were solid, beggars can't be choosers. I broke up the solid chunks and used them but with no test rings I'm not sure how well it is salted, we'll see! I ended up with cone 10 3/4's down on the top and 10 down on the bottom, slightly over fired due to the salt fiasco but over is better than under I suppose. Getting it up to temp means that at the least I can sell them for something. Overall firing time was 8 hours almost to the minute with less wood than my previous kiln. Unloading monday morning. Cheers!