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 (www.texaspottery.com) 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 (www.americanceramics.com) 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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