Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A day for planning

It's time to plan a firing for Ms. B,
even though she is a smaller kiln than the old workhorse kiln we had, now retired, we try to keep the same habits we always used. We still feel it saves us time in the long run to know which pots are going in the kiln with a side shelf of extras that are on stand by as fillers for that hole or two, or as a replacement for a glaze gone bad.
We have a board that we marker off back in 1982 for just this job and it still works great.
 The new layer to the planning is taking a picture with the camera or phone to look as we are loading to be sure we are getting the pots in the right placement.
The top picture will be the top of the stack. The picture to the right will be used about midway up, 6 inches in height. We also make sure the pots will fit under the height requirement. Learning to make like items makes the work of planning easier.

 There is nothing worse than having one pot that is too tall for the shelf to toss off the loading and leave us looking at or for a pot to take it's place. It is also best if you notice that too tall pot before you put the shelf down.

I am working in some red clay right now. These pots will help me fill out the electric kiln when I am glazing and firing tiles. I found that just trying to fill up a kiln with tiles takes too long. We have slowly been adding some thrown pottery to the mix to help move things through at a quicker pace. The idea is to keep these shapes simple, useful items such as mugs, bowls, spoon rest, birdhouses, sugar jars and salt jars. I am sure a few more items will find their places in the mix.
We have fired some pottery with the last two firings of tiles, I am pretty sure that it will make my life a little easier, maybe, I hope, of course, what could possibly go wrong.....
More pictures as things move along.


Peter said...

Great idea to mark out the shelf size and plan where things are going. I'm not quite that organised... yet, but am getting closer. I take time to organise pots by height on boards ready to take out to the kiln, and that certainly helps a bit. I'm using the camera more too now that its all digital electronic stuff!

Michèle Hastings said...

Having a plan is always a good idea. We don't always stick to ours, but it's often written out.
Phone cameras really do help for documenting stuff. I have photos of our door stack so that if I take it down I put back in the right order. The catanery arch door doesn't seem to un-stack as logically as our big kiln in NH. You would think I would be able to get it right after 7 years!