Most times when appliances speak to you, they bear bad news. This was the case two days ago when I opened up the garage door to check that the kiln did complete. When I looked at the kiln, however, it was reading 2,205 degrees. My firing cycle for a glaze takes 22 hours to complete and here was the kiln still firing after 23 hours. I looked through my notes and it looked like the kiln was only reaching the fifth ramp (there are eight ramps in my firing cycle). The kiln should have turned off, but here it hadn’t even reached peak temperature(2,310 degrees). I tried to push the panic feeling away and give the kiln a few minutes, just to see if anything would happen. Nothing did, of course, so I shut off the kiln. As soon as I did that, “FAIL” was what the kiln read.
I actually cried for a few minutes and then got to work finishing some other pots. When that was over, I opened up the kiln to take a look at the pots. This is what glazed pots look like that haven’t reached peak temperature. The blues are bold, but nothing has crystalized or vitrified. They sort of take on a chalky tone to their color. The pot on the right is the new nickel glaze I am working on. I think this one might actually be headed in the right direction because of that bold amber color that is trying to break through.
I had a lot of pedestals to cut off using my tile cutter and needed to grind down the rest of the lanterns for Becca’s wedding too. It was such a nice day, so I decided to set up a work space outside. I ended up calling my supplier, Portland Pottery, and was able to speak with someone regarding my kiln. Thank goodness for Nate who helped me over the phone! It turns out my kiln has a damaged thermocouple that needs to be replaced. The thermocouple is what controls the heating and cooling of the kiln. Without a working one, the kiln cannot perform. I won’t be able to fire the kiln until this is fixed, so I will be out of work for a bit and that is stressful. I have my craft fair in a month and I desperately need to keep firing. I will be able to keep throwing in the meantime, but am definitely nervous about getting all of my work done in time since I will be traveling in a couple of days.
While I wait to get my kiln fixed, I have a lot of pottery to finish on the grinding wheel and work on throwing for my fall show. I might as well get a jump on that and complete commissioned work as well.