To wadd or not?
For me, the answer is just a line of reasoning. Even well washed kiln shelves can accidentally make short work of a beautiful piece. The spot of extra time it takes to go through the steps of making the wadding, wadding up everything that’s at risk, and knocking off wads and cleaning up the foot, is well worth the effort if I came come out the other end with something I can proudly put in front of a collector, gallery owner, or local customer.

Otherwise I have to shuffle my feet when customers see this… a chipped foot!

We knew that this was labor intensive when we took the job, Eh?

Tea Time

One of the best things about the switch to a 17 cubic foot kiln is that there’s enough space to invite friends to play too. Just show-up with bisque and glaze ’em up on the spot using the studio glazes. The 2 teapots above are made by Bay area potter Matt Brown. These look great even without any handles put on yet!

Here’s one of mine… I’m using this as a bribe to set-up a display of locally produced teaware at our neighborhood Sushi House.

Burner Diapers

I did a double take when I peeked under the kiln this morning and saw this…

All of the burners were wrapped with foil with a single hole poked through with a pencil.

The explanation was that during candling with the ball valve just cracked at low volume, the gas could actually burn back to the orifice due to the high ox to gas ratio. The flame sitting on the orifice is just asking for complications.
Steve’s solution to is to cut back the primary air with the tinfoil… the hole poked through adds a just the flow of air needed to balance out the burn and keep the flame burning above the burner right where you want it.
Just pull off the foil when it’s time to really crank’em up.

Hoofing It In a 105

I’ve been feeling like “I’m on a road to Mecca” with this firing… it’s been a long journey of non-stop trouble, lot’s of think’n, lot’s of growing, and now heat…

One of yesterdays’ many highpoints was an afternoon carting each piece  a block and a half away by hand and by wareboard, (17 cubic feet of work), in a 105 degree day. It felt good to actually have to comitt each piece to the kiln, wadding and loading everything into place.
It spilled over a bit into today’s 108 degree day… WOOF!

You can do amazing things with a wide brimmed hat and a gallon and a half of water. The zen is to enjoy it without getting hurt…

Steve Pate will be showing me how he burns his updraft tomorrow morning and I’m hoping to see the kiln door open late Friday afternoon. (He’s already sharing golden tips…)

Fair enough.

This is my first attempt to take just a few of my cone 6 electric glazes though an updraft gas kiln. So bare with me… this ain’t pastels! Win or lose… these are giant steps.

Cone 6 Wadmore

This next weekend’s firing opportunity seems like a great time to explore using wads for a cone 6 firing, lifting the work up off the shelves for better heat convection in a gas kiln.


 700 grams of cone 10 clinker slop, (recycled cone 10 clay).



50 grams Alumina Hydrate…


Saw dust… (add and mix in until the slop becomes wedgable, then wedge-it up, divide it, and wrap up the batch for damp box storage.)

This may or may not go unsaid… apply small wads to the bottom of wear by dipping wads lightly in wood glue thinned with a spot of water.  This is enough wadding for a very liberal application in (2 to 3) 17 cubic foot kiln loads of work.