Change of plans

I fired my tiny (30x30x33 cm) and ancient kiln for some ashglaze tests.
I got this kiln from somebody who had it for 2 years and never used it, before that it belonged to a school were is was never used so I could have it for free!
The only problem is that I had no papers or guide how to use it.
As I said, it's ancient (aprox 30 years old!), no computer.... so it's been a lot of trial and error.......
I now have learned  that it's max temp is 1200C and I was going for 1250C for the ashglazes.....bummer!
I will have to switch clay and think of sollutions for my ash glaze testing.
A steep learning curve!!

Right now the kiln is loaded for a bisq but when I wanted to start her up I noticed that the plug was a bit melted.........oops......that hasn't happend before and I used a new electric cable!
I'm now wating for a friend to return my call, I need help on this one...

( I hope you understand my story in my version of English. Understanding English is easier then writing. Another learningcurve, hehe)

Here are some pictures of the kiln en tests;

My sweet and ancient kiln, no name yet, any suggestions?

Some ash glaze tests, some melted, some didn't.

Some pictures of greenware, waiting for a glaze, hmmmm, might take a while :-)

Any comment or suggestions are much appreciated!
(on pottery as-well as english :-))

Happy potting!


Kim Hines said...

hi monique, i think your english is just fine! ;) and yes that is quite the small kiln, but free? how cool is that! if i were you, i'd call in an electrician or someone who knows about these things. sounds like you'll need to at least put on a new cord. and i'm not sure how the electric works over there, could you have a 110 cord when the kiln runs on 220? if so that could be why it didn't get up to a very high temp. once you get the kiln straightened out then you can figure out what firing temps you can reach. then you can switch your clays and glazes to whatever temp you can reach in the kiln and work w/ what you have. (and dream for the day that this little kiln will become your test kiln and you can get your hands on a larger one!)
i like the greenware, hope you can fire it soon. let us know how it goes w/ the kiln :)

Diana Strinati Baur said...

Ciao! Thank you for commenting on my blog -- I have often thought of buying a test kiln b/c I only have a 200 liter front loader, and in order to fire tests I need to also have a full kiln! Which means I don't test as often as I should.

Older test kilns often don't go up to stoneware temperatures. Shame it does not hit at least 1220.

Have your friend check the coils as well, make sure they are all firing.

I think your forms and ideas are really lovely.

I have not worked with ash glazes since I did my pottery training in Germany. We mixed our own ash glazes out of raw materials using Leach's recipes. Now I heat my house almost only with wood, so shame on me for not testing some ash glazes!! :)

I will be coming back to visit you and your lovely blog.

Nu Kua said...

Hi Kim,

I got the info from people who know everything about electricity.
New plugs, better plugs should do the trick.
There installed and the kiln is up and running again.
first a bisq, if all goes well a glaze test firing this Easter weekend......wish me luck!

and yes, you're right, ir was for free so I'm not complaining! :-)

and I'll hold on to that dream!! A bigger kiln and a studio to go with it..... i am now on the 3rd floor an in apartment-building, not ideal but again, not complaining, just moving forward.

hey Diana,
you have a luxury problem, hahaha.
This little kiln is the only one i have. Maybe someday a new place to live, a bigger studio and a bigger kiln.
Don't they make ashglazes in Germany?
I just like the idea of using as much as possible natural ingredients and simple glazes do it for me.
Unfortunately I had no training as a potter, I'm sort of inventing the wheel again..but loving the journey.

Ladies, thanks for the compliments, makes me feel good about my efforts. :-)
I'll be visiting your blogs to!


ang said...

you should be able to get an ash glaze working at 1200C mine is a cone 7 about 1220-1240C a little tweeking of your ingredients and judge the melt on your tests..your doing well!! congrats on the free kiln too..

Hannah said...

good to see your blog, thanks for visiting mine. Good luck with the tests. A free kiln, blimey that's never to be sniffed at!
well done.