Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hello, Gorgeous!

No, I didn't win the MegaMillions Jackpot (darn!.........) But if I had, I would certainly request next day Air shipping on this beauty! Anyway, I digress. Today, fellow art educators/potters, I fired up my kiln for the first time in 10 years! And, it worked!!! Due to space issues, I haven't been able to use the kiln for quite some time because my principal decided that the kiln room at the back of my previous art room would be a great place to house the Primary grades Literacy Library. Yeah, you read that right, and they get paid the big bucks? So anyway, in my new art room (see posts from Aug/Sept 2011) I have a cool kiln room and I fired my first load today(that sounds salacious, right?) of 5th grade Picasso faces. I turned it on low, with the lid slightly vented open for the first 45 minutes to an hour. I let it soak on low for 2hours, kicked it up to medium until I hit 1,000 degrees and moved it to high.  I was afraid to leave until it automatically shut down when it reached 1,915 degrees, which the manual told me would be the end of the firing. I stayed until 7:30 and it still hadn't reached the end so I made the night custodian promise to shut it down if it was still going when he gets ready to leave at 10:30 tonight. It would be just like me to burn the school down after a $6 million remodel.........I am just amazed that the old gal still works after all of the moving, storage, moving, jostling, repositioning etc. I can't wait to open it up tomorrow and see if everything came out okay. I also can't believe that firing a kiln is kinda like riding a bike. I haven't done it in many years and yet it all came back to me like muscle memory (brain muscle!LOL) I will post photo's after the glaze fire. Wish me luck!


Jen said...

Oh Pat,

Thanks for the comment on my blog. I am glad you like the font...I do too! And I can't wait to be as cool as you with those 100 followers.

Now, not gonna lie, was laughing pretty hard at this post because you and I must have the exact same mind. I am constantly worrying that I am going to burn down the school with the kiln. Last year, I woke up and heard on the news that one of the schools in my district had caught on fire. I panicked and thought "Oh no! It's mine! And it's the kiln!" Luckily, it wasn't my school and it wasn't the kiln (if we can call a school catching on fire "lucky").

Anyway, all that to say, I totally understand. Good luck with all the firing and glazing that I am sure will happen. :)

Painting With Brains said...

Congrats and good luck!! I love opening the kiln. It's always like Christmas morning!!

We're totally paranoid about the kilns at our school too. We have three of them- all of which have a fancy-schmancy timer that will automatically start/turnup/turn off the kilns, but we're too scared to start/stop them when we aren't there! Even though they have four, count 'em FOUR fail-safes that will automatically shut it down in case anything goes can never be too careful!!

Can't wait to see what comes out of yours!

Rina said...

Hi Pat
How exciting! Congrats on getting the kiln up and running again. I can't believe admin let it languish for so long!

I look forward to seeing your students' creations

Pat said...

Thanks Ladies, I feel the love!!!

Holly V. said...

I constantly worry about my kiln too. I won't leave until the kiln suts down either. However, I have a sitter kiln and every once in a while, it just doesn't sut off when it is supposed to. I have to watch the cones carefully. I usually start my kiln around 7 a.m. and it tuns off around 3:30 p.m. I use low fire clay specifically so it takes less time.

Principles of Heart said...

Woo Hoo! Cheers to your first firing in years! How exciting that you can use your kiln again!

Anonymous said...

Enjoying your blog today:) About this subject, I didn't ahve a very good first experience with my kiln the first time I used it at school. I melted down all the projects I had in it, to glass. What a mess. Thankfully, it was a used kiln with extra stuff sent along, so I managed to fix it without to much expense. On a good note, I know how to fix a kiln now!!_Doug

Pat said...

OOOHH! That must have stung, Doug! I always look at the book that came with my kiln and make sure I am using the right cone and temperature. Do you have a kiln sitter attached to yous? I highly recommend using one. I'm glad you were able to clean it out after the meltdown!