What an amazing thing this new kiln is….I have to say I was pretty apprehensive firing the first glaze load in the new computerized kiln! I wanted the safety of the familiar, the understanding of how my old kiln works, where the hot spots are….when to turn the middle back etc…..in a word, I was a bit worried! Well, let me tell you, what a treat this firing has been…..we put it on yesterday evening around 5pm, our manual told us that a fast glaze firing to cone 6 would take approximately 4 1/2 hours…..the old kiln took, on a good day….13 hours!!!! So I was rather skeptical that this kiln would fire in less than 1/2 the time! It did in fact take a little longer…6 1/2 hours in total, so only 2 hours over the estimated time….and I went to bed an hour before the firing ended!!! Never heard of doing such a thing in all my history of being a potter! I usually have cones to watch, knobs to fiddle with etc…..Terry did of course stay up and was the keeper of the kiln firing for me. But he didn’t have to do anything – just check and make sure it actually shut itself off – and it did!!! I am in love with my new shiny kiln!!!
And here’s the other wonderful thing….it fired so evenly that the 3 main glazes can be situated anywhere in the kiln…i used to have to figure out how to make sure the celadon glaze got a bit hotter – all the work looked great. There was a bit of a disaster, 2 open casseroles, with the cream gloss glaze, ran too much and stuck to my brand new shelf…that was just sad!!!
Not only did the firing take less than 1/2 the time the old kiln took…..it cools down way faster too!! so we were able to start the firing at 5pm last night, and unload the kiln this afternoon around 4pm!!!
I’m am going to say it, cos I know a few friends of mine are already saying it…..why did I take so long to move up in the technological world…..truth be told….money mostly. I got a wonderful grant from Cape Breton Craft and Design Centre, in Sydney which enable me to even think about this new kiln!