Miss Julie

Loaded up Miss Julie this week. This is a perfect firing: Turn on the burners at midnight. Let the computer take the kiln to 1650 at 200 degrees per hour. Come in the next morning at 8am and change the computer to “manual”, up the gas to 75% and adjust the damper so the temperature stays about level. The 012 cone is down on top now and soft on bottom so the top is a little hotter. mmmmm…smell the reduction. I can never decide to reduce for 1 1/2 or 2 hours so I always settle on 1 3/4. During the body reduction, the top and bottom temperatures will even out and the bottom will pass the top a bit and be a little hotter. Then pull out the damper to about 1 inch and up the gas to 85%. It is now almost 10am. Tweak the gas percentage and damper to go faaaaaaaast. You can do this because the bottom is hotter than the top. If the top is hotter, you’ll need to fire a little slower. Make little cups while you wait for the cones to drop. Cross your fingers because you are now reducing lighter than you usually do in hopes of pampering a persnickity glaze. At 11:30 make lunch plans with Connie because the firing is going so well. At 12:45am, cone 10 is bent on the bottom and soft on the top so turn off the gas, flip off the computer, and don’t forget to push in the damper. On the way to pick up your lunch buddy, think of a place you can eat outside because it is a beautiful day… Yes, a perfect firing…for that particular kiln, loaded in that particular way, on that particular day…because every firing has its own personality and your job it just to help it be the best that it can be.

ready to fire
Almost ready to fire. Waiting for Stephanie to glaze a couple of cups and a tray (see the two empty spots?) Oops, haven’t made the cone packs yet.

done
All done. Looks good. No casualties. Paula, see the cream pitcher for the set you ordered? I made two sets so you can choose. Sheila, your cup is way in the back. You’ll get two to choose from, also. The four brown, carved tumblers in the back will be shipped to a customer in Baltimore (wish that was a hand delivery…I like Baltimore)

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