Loading it up…

I started loading the kiln on Sunday, but didn’t get very far. By Monday evening the rear setting was finally finished. For some reason the rear setting is time consuming. Today (tues) I started the middle setting and got it about half finished in 2 hours.

Here is the rear setting going in:
Fairly low temp glazes at the bottom rear. That rear bag wall has holes along the bottom for a bit of flow, but I want to see what I get there as far as temp and reduction with limited flow. Most of the rear setting stuff will mature at Orton cone 6-8.

 The plates on the floor should get nice and covered in embers. The top left, behind the beer mugs, has another large jar that is not very visible in the picture.

It rained all night monday night and this is what greeted me in the morning:
The water missed the mattress by about one cm. To get an idea of the depth, look on the left side and you can see the shovel handle.

 There is a black spot on the blue mattress and if you look closely you can see it is a frog. Unfortunately, he is dead. One of the neighborhood cats has taken to having his midnight snacks in my kiln. I wish he/she would clean up after eating…

 All pumped out now, but with the continuing rain, I have to turn on the pump frequently. I leave my sandals in front of the kiln when I go in and load. If I don’t pay attention I could get stranded in the kiln and my shoes would be floating around in that front area. So, I load pots and glance back now and then to check the water level, plugging the pump in when it gets too high. I REALLY need one of those automatic sump pumps so I don’t have to keep switching it on and off manually. The water made it into the firebox Monday night, but not up onto the front floor of the kiln yet. We’ll see if it gets any higher by tomorrow (Wed) morning.

We are expecting rain through Thursday, so I’m a little worried about finishing the front setting on Wed evening, then waking up Thur morning to find all the pots sitting in and inch of water.

Even with the front area pumped out, the wind has been blowing the rain in, making it difficult to load the kiln. I nailed up a tarp to cover the entrance area. Later in the year, I’ll extend the roof properly to keep things dry.

One last item of interest: The company that manufactures Seger cones (Japan uses Seger cones rather than Orton) was in Fukushima, and was apparently seriously affected by the recent disaster. Consequently, Seger cone prices have tripled. They were 200 yen (about $2) each to begin with, but can you imagine paying $6 for a cone?! I had trouble shelling out $2, so I switched to Orton a couple years back. It is still WAY cheaper to pay shipping on Orton cones from America than pay for Seger cones here, even when they were practically a steal at $2 each.