Sunday, March 06, 2005

Running out of gas

Coming up to 4 in the afternoon-the gas tank is down to 20%,the kiln up to 1200`.I've already been out twice to pour hot water on the gas tank to raise the pressure,but I think it'll be O.K. This kiln seems to be hot on the bottom [according to my optical pyrometer]-tricky,because the remedy [slacking off the reduction}is not good for the glazes,which need a hearty dose of reduction to bring out their true colours.I'll wait 'til some cones start to bend in another thirty degrees or so,then decide what to do depending on how big the gap is from top to bottom.
On a firing day,the main work is the kiln-just paying attention to it all the time.I packed up an order for the States,taking most of the morning,and using up a reel of parcel tape in the process.The recipe I learned from Robin Welch my teacher [we used to ship a lot]-5-6 sheets of newspaper on the pot,bubble-wrap,packed with padding [shredded paper]in a cardboard box,then that box "floated" with more padding in another box.Fragile stickers,up arrows and pray.These days wonderful E.M.S. will insure for 4shekels-wasn't like that when I was a lad.
Meanwhile an ex-student came by for a consultation,and the kiln crept up to 1240.The bottom is indeed about a quarter-come hotter [10 degrees]but I won't do anything yet;reduction isn't so strong,if I ease it it'll disappear completely,and I'd like to pile it on right at the end if I can to try to get those reds.


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