|Monthly Tech-Tip |
This is a ConeArt 119D, 0.57 cu ft, 11"x9" cone 10 test kiln. While there is 120v model, don't take a chance, go with 220v (actually ours is 208v). Ours fires 1000 times on a set of elements, mostly in the cone 4-7 range. The old BX controller is shown here, it is $300 cheaper, but don’t even think about getting that! Do not use your electric like a pop up toaster, make it a technological enabler of custom firing schedules, get the Genesis GX. Having good control of firing is a key to success and this is superior for that. These kilns are economical to fire. Big enough for 5 mugs, but I typically fire a dozen clay and glaze test specimens. We make our own super-thin shelves. The controller holds about 20 schedules, even controllable remotely (it is Wi-Fi connected). We can fire cone 04 up and down in three hours! Of course, since this type of kiln can enable so much more testing you also need a code numbering system and a place to record and search all the results: An account at insight-live.com.
This homemade kiln shelf (left) for our test kiln was fired at cone 10. This is a third the weight (and thickness) of the cordierite one on the right. However it does not have the thermal shock resistance of cordierite, uneven heatup can crack it. It is made from a body I slurry up consisting of 96.25% calcined alumina and 3.75% Veegum. It rolls out nicely and dries flat between pieces of plasterboard, taking about three days (if you try this and the body is not plastic then your alumina is not fine enough or you did not blender mix the slurry well enough). Alumina produces a lighter shelf than Zircopax and shrinks much less than refractory bodies we have tried (e.g. L4543), I cut the slab only 1/4" larger and it has fired to the same size.
ConeArt 119D Cone 10 110v Test Kiln
Bartlett Genesis Kiln Controller Programming
Bartlett Genesis Kiln Controller
A test kiln is a must for all potters and small manufacturers, even serious hobbyists. Here is why.
All types of ceramic are fired in a kiln to cement particles together to produce a hard and water and temperature resistant product.
Working with children
Go in with both eyes open if you are planning to work with clay with a group of children! A lot can go wrong but it can be unforgettable for them when it goes right.