first bisque firing

Yesterday was the first bisque firing, with the lovely Adrian from Northern Kilns.

I learned an enormous amount and spent most of yesterday in the garage monitoring the kiln and settings and how fast the temperature was rising.

The climb from cold was to be 12.5 degrees every five minutes, so at times we turned the gas up or down depending how slow or fast she was climbing. You have to be very gentle with clay and heat it slowly.

The first lesson was how to lay out the base to move the heat and flame round the kiln as the flame just wants to flow to the easiest route outwards, which would be straight up the flue, which you don’t want you want it to heat the kiln first.

Then replace all the pots in the kiln, and then turn on the gas, and turn on the first burner.  Here is the lovely Adrian turning on the burner.

As the first heat needs to be so gentle one burner is enough to start heating the kiln.

Then when the kiln gets warmer it’s close the door and let it cook!

It looks like we don’t need to do much kiln watching between 300C and 800C as Hilda will just keep climbing, but from then on we have to tweak the heat and the amount of air that is getting into the kiln to get her to climb after that.  From 850C she is reducing which is what we want.

The temperature has been dropping slowly over night and an hour ago it was 120C, so I’m going to go and open the kiln and hope that nothing has broken and has all fired evenly.

Not sure if I’m scared stiff or really exciting!

Oh and the kiln offering.

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