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raku kilns!!

updated fri 31 may 96


PAT HANKINS on wed 22 may 96

I have had and am having experiences with bought raku kilns...several
years ago I purchased for my school a ceramic fiber raku kiln from
Miami Cork....It worked well and still does...however the lid needs
to be lifted completely off when you want to access the interior and
it takes two people to do it......I wanted to work at my studio at
home and so I bought an Olympic Raku Kiln with a crank up lid and
attached it to propane out behind the barn.....The learning curve has
been disappointingly steep for me......I am not use to looking into a
kiln to judge raku glazes with flames shooting straight up through
the kiln......In all other raku kilns that I have used, the gas comes
in horizontally below the shelf.....The first time that I fired, I
opened it up too soon...I could see the "shine"on my clear
glaze through the flames but when I took it out, it was immature and
the matt glaze had done nothing....I ordered a pyrometer and last
evening I fired again....I had never used a pyrometer or cones to
judge the readyness of raku glazes before...It was ready when it
glaze looked "right" and the color of the interior of the kiln was
right... anyway I fired the
kiln to 1800 a little less than ^06 using the standard clear glaze of
Gersley Borate 80 and Neph Sy 20 one that I have used for
years....When I cranked the kiln up, the pots were really glowing and
the glaze had run off the pots.... Overfired....So somewhere
in between but where?...I will keep experimenting...anyone else with
this kind of kiln that could give me some clues about how to judge
when the ware is ready through the flames?

I have used this kiln to do saggar firings to ^07 with cones and it
works fine.

Ann, I thought that maybe other Clayarters out there would be
interested in the problems...The saggar firing worked great..Have you
fired the kiln yet? Did you experience my problems?

Pat in Meansville GA where we're cooking......and the mud dauber play

Pat Hankins
Gordon College
Barnesville, GA 30256

Marvin Bartel on thu 23 may 96

At 05:48 PM 5/22/96 EDT, Pat Hankins wrote:
>..I am not use to looking into a
>kiln to judge raku glazes with flames shooting straight up through
>the kiln...

Our raku kiln is not the same as yours, but we have the same problem. We
turn down the gas momentarily when we need to check fi the glaze is ready.
Using a pyrometer tends to take the fun out of raku.
Marvin Bartel, Art Dept
Goshen College, Goshen, IN 46526