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Topic: i'm not worthy... i'm not worthy...  (Read 1002 times)
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« on: November 05, 2008 04:01:34 PM »

so, i'm a first year art teacher at an elementary school. the former teacher disappeared to trinidad over the summer and left behind a terribly messy and underutilized studio. the school is a performing arts magnet and extremely well equipped. the art room is the 3d studio (the 2d studio is currently being used as a computer lab). i'm a printmaking person and an art history person mostly. my experience with clay is restricted to having worked with it on k-8 level projects at an art museum summer camp this past summer. i know the basics of working with clay and feel very comfortable leading my students through projects, but at camp someone else always did the firing! now i'm faced with two pretty old kilns and no idea what to do with them, and kids who are really antsy to do some clay projects. both kilns have kiln sitters but nothing digital, nothing for temperature readings. just knobs that can be turned up levels 1-5. the company doesn't have the manual for my model online and so i had to order it. i did buy myself a book with lots of info about timing and temperature as well. but in the meantime, i'm just wondering if someone can shed some light onto what i'm up against. thanks!
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2008 05:32:36 AM »

Hi, the most important thing is to make sure the pieces are dry for the first firing. Load your kiln and leave the lid propped up about 2 inches. Put your bottom element on low. In your case it would be the bottom switch only and the dial on number 2. I would do this for the better part of the day. Student pieces are usually very thick and need a slow firing. After you have done this, I would close the lid put all the switches to # 2 for a couple of hours, then put it on the highest setting until it shuts off automatically. Once off leave the kiln for at least 12 hours to cool down before trying to open and remove pieces.
If you run into any problems contact me ,I'd be happy to help. I am a potter and managed a pottery supply for 15 years.
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