Fired Arts & Crafts
Loading And Firing
Monday, 08 November 2010 13:35

Excitement over your new kiln has set in. You just can't wait to load it up, position the controls, and fire away. The most exciting part will be opening the lid to see the results after the first batch has been fired. It's just driving you crazy. You rush to get all of your greenware cleaned and final coats of glaze on items. Finally, you have enough to fill the chamber.

Wait a minute. Are you forgetting anything? The kiln is unpacked and set up, the wiring is done and it is all loaded up. The person who sold you the kiln showed you how to use the controls, so you should be set. Why does it seem like an important step has been missed?

Did you read the manual? Do not ignore this important step. Following the instructions and doing each item outlined in the manual before you ever fire the kiln can have a dramatic effect on the performance and reliability of your kiln. You will also discover information that will be useful later. So, at this point, set this down, and go read your manual.

Each kiln manufacturer has a set of instructions that you should have completed when setting up the kiln. Your kiln is set up properly, it's level, interior has been cleaned, possibly seated the elements, and gone through your first firing without any ceramic pieces in the kiln. We are purposely not going through each of these steps for a couple of reasons. The cone you first fire your kiln to can vary by manufacturer and each kiln has unique features so it would be impossible for us to cover everything. In order to get this information, you will need to read the manual. (Have we made it clear what you need to read?)