I just finished off firing VI. The firing was very problematic, lots of unevenness, damp wood, 4 of my grates broke around 2150 degrees and it ended with a visit from the fire department. I ended up with cone 10 flat on the bottom, 9.5 on the top back and 8 down on the top front, that's the worst I've had though it's not terrible. We had a lot of rain yesterday and even though my wood was in the barn and covered it was still a little damp and I went through a lot of wood to get it to temp. The fire dept. showed up right at the end of the firing, once they saw the kiln and I told them what was going on they just kinda hung around asking pottery questions. It makes me nervous though...I always wonder if the fire marshal is going to come out and put an end to it. Even though it's permitted they can pull it anytime they want.
Well anyways, I'm not too discouraged( i am about due for a bad firing though.) There are always at least a few pots that make it worth it. I'll be unloading Thursday morning...lets keep our fingers crossed.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
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Fire Depts don't know squat about kilns. They used a pole to cave in the door at Cone 10 at McMurry back in '85. People thought we were operating an incinerator! The fire dept is what, 2 blocks down on Highland?? They didn't even know about the ceramics programs at the 3 colleges in town. George Holland put one of those cardboard tubes that newsprint comes on directly on the arch and it sat there unburned for the next few years! We used to have goats at the farm until they got on the roof of my grandfathers new Chrysler! Then it was cabrito city!
So sorry to hear of the firing problems Brandon! Did you do your peanut butter and jelly thing(?) Was that it? I'm sure the pots will turn out beautiful. Can't wait to see them.
I bet those cone 8 pots will look great! On the outside anyhow if they are slipped. Hopefully the glaze melted. Gotta go back to the pb&j and sweet tea ritual. Fingers crossed here!
In my experience a fireman can really appreciate a good fire well managed. 6 firings is only a start and if this is the worst of them I'd say that you're doing just fine.
Why did the fire department show up? It wasn't some do-gooder with a cell phone, was it? As a member of a volunteer department I can tell you that, while their concern is appreciated, they can some times be a pain. It is pretty annoying haul ass to the station, rush out on a call expecting a fire and find nothing more than some folks sitting around a little bonfire.
As far as the firing goes, I hope everything turns out...or at least that you don't have too many clunkers.
Hey brandon, had similar uneven issues with my firing last week as well... damp wood... damp door bricks that steamed well into 1600 degrees, not great reduction, and extra 4 hours to get to temp etc.... we've had a lot of snow and rain this winter. Cone 10/11 on top, Cone 9 down below. All in all everything turned out well, and will be refiring a few pieces, which will probably end up being my favorites in the end, but happy with the rest. Hope your unloading comes out great!
This reminds me of a visit from the fire department a few years back as I was firing my natural gas kiln on a very windy and stormy night in December, had no choice as I had a studio sale scheduled. Anyhow around midnight I hear sirens and look out the window to see a fire truck going down our street at about 5 mph...I realize they are looking for me, someone had called in but didn't know the address. So when they came back up the street, sirens blaring, I was out in the middle of the street to greet them, brought them in and showed them the kiln. All the while thinking, I've got a permit but they could shut me down and my sale will be totally shot. No big deal, all firemen are pyros, they admired it, had one go to the house where the call had come in and verified that all was well. They've never come back again. I live near the hospital and to this day when I am firing and hear the sirens I still worry a little that they are coming to shut it down - thanks for a great blog, all the best, Owen
it aint a party unless the police or fire department show up!
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