Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: kiln firing, production

Back to back kilns… So tonight I unloaded my last bisque kiln, and immediately
re-loaded it with another batch of greenware. This may not be my finest packed
kiln ever, but it was more about getting all of my textured slab vases into the kiln!

Kiln Layer #1 – A collection of mugs, bowls, ovals and some more “kiln filler”
that didn’t quite make it into my last kiln!

Kiln Layer #2 – A large porcelain platter by my studio neighbor Karen Patinkin.
Without this layer, I would have had an extra 3-inches at the top. And you know how
I hate to leave extra space in my kilns! So I slipped in Karen’s platter to fill the space!

Kiln Layer #3 – With a collection of textured slab vases… with the newest, not-quite-dry-yet
ones upside down so the moisture doesn’t get trapped. Somehow it make me feel better
knowing that damp bottoms have space to breath! Plus, a few glazed terra cotta planters
from my cousin’s visit from Minnesota with his kids! They’ll be excited to finally get their
projects back so they can start growing their gardens!

Kiln Layer #4 – A couple more textured slab vases – but these were too tall to fit in.
So I laid them down sideways! Plus, a couple more terra cotta planters!

It’s all loaded tonight… but I felt it might be a good idea to let it sit overnight to give
some of the pieces a chance to dry a bit more. So I’ll turn it on tomorrow with a little
pre-heat time and fire it slowly.


April 28th, 2012

Quite the kiln load.


April 29th, 2012

Kiln load master! How damp are they? I am often too chicken to fire pots until they are bone dry.

April 29th, 2012

Well Pam, I finished assembling them around midnight Thursday night and kept them wrapped overnight. Then came in and slip painted them Friday around 6:00pm and left them open to start drying. When I came back in yesterday to start loading, the top half of each was pretty much bone dry. It’s the bottom half that concerns me more. I’m pretty confident that by waiting until this morning to start the kiln I’ll be okay. I turned the kiln on for about 10 minutes last night to get a little heat in there to help dry them. When I get to the studio in a few minutes I’ll find out if it helped. And then determine how much of a preheat I need to do. I’m sure everything will be fine… I’ve fired wetter work before!!!

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