Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Unloading The Kiln

I get super excited every time I unload a kiln. I always say it's like Christmas when you were a kid. Everything goes into the kiln covered in glaze that is all one color. My glaze these days is green so every button, bead and bowl is green when it goes into the kiln. I fire to almost 2000 degrees F so it's hot and I have to wait for it to cool down.

Over the years I have built up some heat resistant fingers. You know at restaurants when they tell you to watch the plate because it's hot? I just grab it without problems and it always gives the waitress a scare.

After I can open it all the way, it's about 150 degrees. Everything is suspended on high temperature wires. Glaze is basically ground up glass so when it reaches it's firing temperature it melts. If things were sitting on the kiln shelves, they would be stuck there forever. That is why everything is hung on wires.

I pull everything out and lay them on a metal tray. They are still pretty warm at this point.

Bowls and pottery have clean bottoms so they sit directly on the shelf.

Here are little bird nests sitting and waiting to be brought in to the studio.

 Pottery is waiting patiently as well.

After cooling a little bit more, the beads and buttons are taken off the wires. Next, I sort them, put the buttons on cards and photograph them for my shop.

Enjoy your day!

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  1. I love this pile of buttons (and pretty much everything you make!)

  2. Thanks Amber! Unloading a kiln might be my favorite thing:)

  3. This is awesome! Love seeing your "behind the scenes" - thanks for sharing...

  4. How exciting! a kiln load of colourful "loveliness"

  5. Oh my goodness! Just like opening a present! Thanks for sharing this! It was awesome!

  6. lovable work..thanks for sharing

  7. "Way back when". I was a certified ceramics teacher. My biggest pleasure was opening the kiln for a glaze load. It truly was like Christmas, especially to see student's pieces come to life. This brings back some GREAT memories! Thanks!


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