First Bisque Firing… Uh Oh.


Last night I tried my first biscuit firing. I had made a few small egg cups, a mug and some tester discs for my glazes. Everything seemed ok and I was set for a 7 hour firing, including an extra hour on the dial. I was home and started the kiln low then ramped up slowly every hour at first then two hours. However when I went to check on the kiln at the 5th hour, the light was off and I couldn’t hear anything. It was still hot but I didn’t think it was working. I left it another hour and when I cam back the handle was cool enough to touch. Something had gone wrong!

I tried to turn the kiln on and off but nothing was responding. I checked the cone and it hadn’t bent at all, so it hadn’t gotten anywhere near 1000 oC. I’m guessing it’s something electrical.

It’s frustrating. I’m away this weekend and I’m not sure what to do. I could open it up, but I’m not sure what I’m looking for. SB said she has a good kiln guy, perhaps I’ll call him and see if he can diagnose whats wrong.

If anyone has any tips or knows of online resources to help diagnose kiln problems please let me know! The stumbling block I’ve come across is that it is an old kiln and most things online are far more modern. Mine doesn’t even have a programmer!

Frustrating! But the price you pay for a cheap second hand kiln I guess.

PG x


2 thoughts on “First Bisque Firing… Uh Oh.

  1. Hi, I am following your blog because I can so relate to your stories as I too had similar experiences when starting out working with clay at home (post education when out in the big clay world). Quite a few years later I’ve learnt a little more.

    Your firing dilemma is such a frustration, all the excitement and anticipation then….. nothing. But you’ll learn a valuable experience that will put you in fine standing should it occur again (and it most probably will). If the electrics failed (no power light) then you’ll need an electrician.

    I have a good tip for testing elements and that is to place strips of small newspaper on each element when the kin is cool and then fire it up. Give it an hour then switch off and check the newspaper for scorch marks. This will enable you to identify if all the elements are working. If there are elements out you will not be able to reach desired temperature.

    Hope this helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Billi! I really appreciate the comment, words of support & tips! You’re right – I was so excited to get firing my own work! But it wasn’t to be just yet. I’ve contacted a recommended kiln service guy but he’s busy so it may be a while before I get to try again.. Thanks for following my blog and I’ll keep the posts coming!

      Liked by 1 person

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