Day Forty-Six


I am now running the second last glaze firing for the succulent pots. There are 45 of them in the kiln. I'm just remembering the time I bisque-fired at the previous studio in a manual kiln and somehow the cone stuck on the cone sitter. It went far beyond the temperature it needed and the ware came out completely vitrified with bubbles looking like bitter melons. I lost everything in that kiln.  It was a disaster.  Last week I changed the elements in the large kiln since one of them were broken. It looked like I broke it when I changed the thermocouple a few days earlier. Removing and reinstalling the elements made me come to think the kiln is not a magic box but rather a logically designed apparatus. Electricity heats up the heating elements, which are tucked in and pinned in the grooves in the kiln bricks so both elements and wares are protected. The elements closest to the lid and the bottom have the smaller gauge and the elements closer to the midpoint has the larger gauge so the heat is balanced throughout the kiln chamber. Yes I have read that before, but understanding by handling is a bit different experience. Knowing a little more about tools helps me stay interested in maintaining them and using them with care.