In Kiln Firing students will be exploring the science and art of firing a kiln by first operating and understanding electric kilns, then gas kilns (both oxidation and reduction, manual and automatic), and lastly exploring atmospheric firing and alternative firing processes. Bisque firing, cone 04, 6, and 10, basic maintenance and repair, loading and unloading bisque and glaze firings, and crystobalite formation and quartz inversion will all be investigated. This course will be largely self-directed building upon a basic foundation of knowledge with topics from each student’s specific interests. Some possible subjects for exploration are once, soda and/or salt, saggar, raku, pit, and wood firing, reduction for shinos and copper reds, developing microcrystals, firing for crystalline glazes, and reduction cooling among other possibilities. These objectives will be facilitated through demonstration and hands-on practice. The overarching goal of this class is to empower students with the technical knowledge to express themselves through ceramics coherently using a comprehensive understanding of the firing process. Firing is often an intimidating procedure for even the most advanced ceramic student, this class is designed to build each student’s confidence and comfort through full involvement in the firing process.
Some basic tools will be required.