...as well as a firing fork....non-asbestos hot pad
Thanks so much for the link and the advice! I have two more questions for you now though, Does the fork's handle become so hot that are gloves necessary? And is the hot pad soft enough to be cut to size? Thanks again!
The firing fork should have a wooden handle and metal guard on the end and does not get hot. You might want to make sure that the fork part has a small enough opening to still fit in your kiln! One reason you might want gloves is if your kiln door gets very hot...sometimes you need a glove to get the door open, depending on how it is insulated. Just to be certain, your kiln opens to the front, like a microwave or oven, right?
Second, the hot pad is soft, and I believe it could be cut down. I have never tried it, but I don't see why not.
Third, I would pick up some vermiculite from a garden center. You can make a small pile of it on top of the hot pad and fire it in the kiln. I use it to help support curved or round pieces. The vermiculite changes color after the first firing, but you can use it again and again...
Sorry I'm so wordy! Let me know if you need clarification. Also, I wouldn't hesitate to call Thompson to ask questions about the firing materials. I've called before and talked to them at conferences, and they've always been very helpful.