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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Raku Workshop and Kiln Dilemma

Guess i should start with the raku workshop. Two Saturdays in a row. While there were only 4 of us the first Saturday, the group energy was terrific. Fun. Thanks Tim.

The local arts council pottery dept is well supplied with equipment: wheels aplenty, a slab roller, an extruder, a couple of Skutts kilns and a new raku kiln.
Tim Rein X X hosted the workshop, brought his raku glaze recipes and his expertise. We threw a few pots, slab-constructed a few pieces, fired the new raku kiln for the first time with several of Tim's pieces which he'd brought for demo purposes.
The next Saturday, we all glazed and fired the pieces created the Saturday before.

Now, i want to brag on Olympic kilns. They are really nice people to work with; solution oriented folks. When we spoke the last time, approx. 2 weeks ago, we thought the firing problem might be the oriface size. So they put larger orifaces in the mail right away. Received them the first Saturday of the workshop. Put them in the kiln the following Monday.

However, didn't try to fire the kiln until today.
And while this firing was not a success, i'm extremely optimistic that the next one will be !!!
When today's firing only produced temps to 2050°F with a lot of bushy yellow flames, i called Olympic again. Spoke with Bob Hogan this time and he asked the magic question: "That's a 3-ring kiln, isn't it? Are you using all 3 rings?"
"Ummm . . . no. Just 2 of them."
Bob replied: "I believe that's your problem. The 1827G will only reach full temp when using all 3 rings."
Tomorrow, i'll add the other ring, raise the hood higher towards the ceiling and refire on Friday.
Betcha it works like a charm . . . .

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