Firing speaks for itself.
The balls are wadding balls. Little balls of alumina, to stop the clay sticking, clay, and plain flour. I put them on the bottom of my pots and on each of my buttons to lift them off the kiln shelf when firing.
You can buy stilts that do the same job, but they cost, and this is a cheaper, but more costly in time solution.
So finally had my kiln packed at 11.30 yesterday morning, with each piece of work hovering over the shelves on little wadding balls, and turn on the gas.
She went up like a dream until about 850º, and then she went slower and slower no matter what combination of gas pressure, and moving around of damper. We eventually hit 1000º and thought, we are nearly home, just 260º to go, but she went slower and slower and by the time we hit 1240º she was only making 10º per hour and it was 1am. So we decided that it was late enough and we left her for half an hour soak, to get the temperature even throughout the kiln, then switched off.
2am was a late bed time, and we still have no idea what the work looks like yet as she is still too hot to open.