Ingeborg Foco on sat 22 jan 05
Does anyone out there really believe that any of the various venting systems
does an adequate job in drawing out all fumes? Would you keep a canary in
your kiln room? I am dealing not only with my health but the health of my
middle school students as well.
I use an Environment for my bisque kiln. I feel it does a decent job of
venting fumes. Prior to using the vent system, I would have blue streaks
running thru the air space in my studio and the sulfur smell was
unbelievable.....clearly, I had to leave the room during the entire firing.
I don't have any high tech measuring devices but feel the environ vent does
a decent job. Ideally, one has a separate room for the kilns (I now do) but
in a not so perfect world a vent system works quite well.
the Potter's Workshop & Gallery
P.O. Box 510
3058 Stringfellow Road
St. James City, Florida 33956
Christine Caswell on sat 22 jan 05
I don't often post on Clayart but I read a lot. Of course I've read =
about all of the electric kiln overfirings- both recent and in the =
archives... But as a teacher with an electric kiln in my classroom and =
no available money for a kiln room I had to make a choice between firing =
during the day and inhaling fumes two or three times a week or firing at =
night and relying on the kiln sitter to function properly. I am sure =
you all know where this is leading...
So Wednesday morning I arrived at school and it appeared that the kiln =
had finished and shut off. About 20 minutes later when the room was =
quiet I could hear the faint "tick-tick-tick-tick" of the timer on the =
kiln still running. I took a closer look and found that the kiln was =
indeed still running- the little white button on the sitter had not =
popped out all the way. Brushing my finger against it was enough to pop =
it out. When it had cooled I opened it to find pretty much what I'd =
expected. Everything melted far far beyond recognition and the kiln is =
pretty much destroyed. (It was a cone 05 glaze firing with white =
I talked to the principal about the situation and explained why I had =
been firing at night and told him that we need a kiln room. (And a new =
kiln.) He asked about venting systems- it is one thing to pay for a new =
kiln and another to pay to construct a proper kiln room AND a new kiln. =
The current- now dead- kiln had a hood over it but I doubt that it was =
very effective because the entire room smelled when firing- I figure if =
the smell can escape then other more dangerous gasses must be escaping =
too. I need both expert and anecdotal advice. Does anyone out there =
really believe that any of the various venting systems does an adequate =
job in drawing out all fumes? Would you keep a canary in your kiln =
room? I am dealing not only with my health but the health of my middle =
school students as well.
This kiln was only about 4 years old and was in great condition until =
Wednesday. I hope that others will learn from my mistake instead of =
believing that it will probably be okay as I did. But I also had little =
choice- either breath fumes or put my faith in kiln safety features. I =
intend to use this incident as leverage to make sure that whether in the =
room or in a kiln room I have what I need to everyone to be safe. Even =
if it means I must change my curriculum for the rest of the school year =
to all non-clay activities.
Thanks in advance for your help and advice.
Cindy in SD on sat 22 jan 05
The art center where I first made pottery had a downdraft kiln vent
installed. It worked well as long as no one tried to burn off paraffin
wax in it. The paraffin fumes did permeate the building, even with the
kiln vent going constantly. Since you're doing low-fire work, that
probably wouldn't be an issue for you. In a perfect world, maybe you
would want both a hood and a downdraft vent. (I don't know if that's the
correct name for the vent, but you get the picture.)
Of course, the kiln does have to vent to the outside world. Hopefully,
you're located in such a way as to allow for that to be done fairly
easily. Otherwise, you have to install a lot of duct work. Very pricey.
The Orton kiln vent can be installed with just dryer vent hose. This is
because the vent immediately pulls room air into itself at the underside
of the kiln--just as the air is pulled from the kiln. The vent hose will
not be hot, so that's a blessing.
Cindy in SD