Using an Electric Pottery Kiln : Loading an Electric Pottery Kiln


Now we’re going to load the kiln. I’ve already
put a few pots in the bottom here. If you look inside the kiln you can see. When loading
a glaze kiln, it’s important that nothing touches. Glaze is going to turn to glass in
the firing, and if it’s touching anything it’s going to fuse to it, and when you take
it out you’re going to be very disappointed. In a bisque firing you can have everything
touching. You can stack them all together to maximize your kiln load, and you can get
as much in there as possible. You always want to leave at least an eighth of an inch in
between pots in a glaze firing. But, you also want to maximize how many pots you’re getting
in there, so; as you can see, I put the larger pots in first, and then I’m going to fill
in the room I have left with smaller pots, just so that I don’t waste space in this expensive
kiln firing. You also need to know that for each shelf that I showed you a moment ago,
you need three points to hold each shelf up. you need to have at least a quarter of an
inch clearance above your pots, before that shelf. Your pots are going to expand a little
bit in the hottest part of the firing. So if you don’t have enough clearance, you’re
going to do this, which is what I did in one of my first firings. I had a bowl that was
short enough that it didn’t touch the top, but when it expanded it reached up and it
touched the top of the kiln. If you do that enough times in your kiln, you’re going to
ruin your furniture, or your kiln, or your pieces. So that’s an important thing to learn.
Once you’ve got your pieces in there, and you’ve got your stilts in place, you take
your kiln shelf, and you hold it steady and level, and gently set it down on all three
points evenly. Check it with your finger. If it wobbles just a little bit it’s fine,
because you’re going to be putting more weight on top of it before you move to the next layer.
If it wobbles a lot, you need to take it off and try again, and you just keep going until
you’ve got the kiln loaded all the way to the top, and I’ll show you how to program
it.

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