Karen Sullivan on thu 7 oct 10
I am perhaps more relaxed about
reaching a specific 06 temp in
my bisque kiln....
I often do not use cones in my bisque.
I look for color...Rimas once suggested
you try to match the color of the
glowing end of a cigarette...
to the color of heat in the kiln...
works for me...
Thom Collins would use a technique
in a gas kiln (DO NOT TRY IN
AN ELECTRIC KILN)...
There is no way I would poke a metal
rod into an eclectic kiln...that would
I am specifically talking about
a gas kiln....
Thom would take a metal rod...
I use some re-bar I have sitting
around...you poke the rod into
the kiln through a peep hole, and touch the
surface of a pot, hold the rod against the
surface for a couple of seconds, then remove it.
If the rod leaves a ghost black image on the surface
for a few seconds, you have reached a high enough temp.
The image will disappear quickly...there
is no damage to your work as a result...
as long as you don't jab the piece and
poke out a hole in the pot....
a light touch works
Another strategy is to look for the
shadows cast by the stacked work to disappear...
so color and shadows are a technique
to translate the temp of the kiln.
I have under-fired my stoneware on occasion...
and there are splotches of grey...so
I did not fire to a high enough temp
to burn out the organic materials...
so if there is too much, I re-fire the piece...
as I don't want the organic stuff trying
to escape through a glaze surface...
Intuitive strategies are fair in
the firing of a kiln...
have had a cone pack fall....or
for some reason not remain visible in
the firing of a glaze kiln...so I
made a guess based on the color of
the atmosphere...the result was
close enough....sometimes you need
to fly blind...
and make decisions based on what you
see...without standard tools.