Wednesday, August 10, 2016

New Kiln!

new kiln, just delivered, still in its box!

I finally have a new kiln! I haven't previously paid more than a few bucks or gas to pick it up before for an electric kiln for my home.  One major disadvantage of a small kiln is that large work doesn't necessarily fit and small work has to be divided into small loads.

the complex packing of the new kiln

In about 2013 I decided I needed a new kiln and planned to use my Parker Award money to buy one, but then, on sabbatical, I started building sculpture in pieces and the need became less pressing.

the catalyst for the new kiln

However, this year, I started building sculpture without sparing even a though for my kiln size and I ended up with two pieces that wouldn't fit in my existing kilns. So my husband helped me negotiate a space in the garage and I ordered my "first" real kiln that allows me to make what I want.

last firing in the old kiln

I've been firing quite a bit this summer, since I've been doing so much commission work and so many small pieces. This weekend I unloaded my (probably) last firing from my small, old, used, donated kiln and loaded work into the new Skutt.

new kiln, plugged in and ready to go

I was able to fit both the too-large sculptures, as well as a whole shelf of other work, into the kiln for one firing. The kiln I bought is one of the Kiln Master series, rather than a Kiln Sitter series. Before this year at the new YVC studio, I've used mostly kiln sitters at home and at work. Kiln sitters require hourly manual turn-ups and therefore make it difficult to leave the kiln unattended for more than an hour at a time.

the packing foam around the kiln looks funny

I can still hear my first ceramics professor, in my head, telling me never to leave a kiln unattended and never to trust a sitter, timer, or automatic shut off, but I must say that the freedom to run more than one errand while the kiln is firing is pretty nice.

new work, waiting for glaze

My summer work time is sadly running out, but I have one last batch of sculpture that I hope to finish building and a whole assortment of functional work I hope to glaze and fire before the end of August. Someday, I might even glaze and finish the few sculptures I built this summer.

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