Kiln Opening

There is absolutely nothing like the thrill of opening a kiln and looking inside. The trick is not to get anxious and open the kiln too soon otherwise one could lose ones eyebrows.

So far I haven’t lost my eyebrows — but I’ve come close.

I have 2 kilns. A big kiln and a small kiln. The small kiln is for glass beadwork and kilning ceramic beads and silver-clay jewelry. The big kiln is for the pottery … and if there is room, beads. This is the small kiln. And as you can see it is filled with green and blue beads which I will be taking to the show on Saturday, September 3rd.

Recently the big kiln had a malfunction and hubby and I had to take it apart and rewire the box. We also ended up having to replace the top element. It was not as hard as I thought it would be. A big huge SHOUT OUT mega thanks to Alan at Texas Pottery Supply and Clay Company ( for quickly retrieving the necessary parts in record time!

Right now the big kiln is cooling down. I won’t be able to open it until tomorrow morning. Lately I have been throwing extremely thin pieces and the last time I opened the kiln to peek at it, I lost 12 beautiful bowls. Someone told me that when things are 1000 degrees and the outside air is only a mere 100 degrees, what would I expect to happen?

Okay …. so I have learned my lesson. No pre-mature opening of the kiln for me anymore. It helps to kiln beads at the same time as the pottery because all day long I can oooooo and ahhhhh over the little tiny things and keep my hands off the big kiln.

Each new bead or piece of pottery is like a tiny canvas. I enjoy making the canvas as much as I do decorating it. These blue babies are about 4-6 mm. They are not painted with this design, but have been impressed with a button that I made a mold from. The glaze settles into the small grooves and gives the appearance of a painted design.

This is a 10 mm round which was stamped with a leaf pattern.

Yesterday I kilned some white porcelain rounds with chinz style decals. I think these are so fun. Until the decal salesman returns to American Ceramics ( this is the last batch of these for awhile. They proved to be the most popular bead at the Texas Pottery & Sculpture Guild show at the Botanical Gardens this past July.

Tomorrow I will post a few photos of the new pottery I will be bringing to the show. Until then …

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