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FrogBlog — Firing

Ceramic Kilns: What buyers need to know

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Ceramic Kilns: What buyers need to know

When you are looking for the perfect kiln, you might think there is one out there that does it all, but kilns are made for specific purposes. The perfect ceramic or pottery kiln might be a poor choice for an enamel artist. The best knife oven would not necessarily be great for a glass fuser. In the next few weeks, we are going to take a look at several different categories of kilns and discuss what we think are important features to look for when you are deciding on your next kiln. Let’s start with kilns for clay artists!  ...

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There’s A New Smart Controller In Town!

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There’s A New Smart Controller In Town!

Orton has recently introduced a new Smart Controller called the AutoFire Slide Controller.  Now, in addition to the TAP Smart Controller by SDS Industries and the Genesis Smart Controller by Bartlett, you have another choice for a great controller with the convenience of a touchscreen interface.  Smart Controllers give you precise control over your firings and with their large touchscreen interfaces they give you much more information than you can get from a standard digital controller with a simple four-digit display.   Orton has been in the controller business for years, and they have been pioneers in the digital controller...

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Peepholes and Venting

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Peepholes and Venting

Last week, we got an e-mail with a bunch of great questions about peepholes and venting your kiln when using powdered enamels dry on copper. So, we thought that we would give you some insights on venting for all kinds of enamels on glass, and metals too. Hopefully, this Q&A from Gail will help you in the future... it always helps me!   Why does my kiln have a Peephole? Large peepholes (viewports), tapered for a wide view without heat loss, were originally designed for manual kilns so you could see when the pyrometric cones bent. With venting as their secondary function, peepholes allow...

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Kiln and Oven Troubleshooting

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Kiln and Oven Troubleshooting

Happy New Year ! After reading dozens of "I am so excited for my new kiln" posts, I thought I would share some Kiln and Oven Troubleshooting advice that I got from our friends at Evenheat Kilns. Brick Cracking and Hairline Cracks Hairline cracks are common in all kilns and should not be a concern. Bricks expand and contract when heated and then cooled. The cracks will close as the kiln gets hotter. This is most prevalent in the kiln top or bottom. Kilns fired at the higher temperatures will experience more spalling and cracking of the brick. Kilns cooled down...

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The Importance of Keeping a Firing Log

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The Importance of Keeping a Firing Log

In 1905 Spanish philosopher George Santayana wrote these well-known words “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” And, for anyone that uses a kiln on a regular basis that quote can have significant meaning. That is why we recommend that EVERYONE keep a firing or project log. We cannot stress this enough as it is the easiest ways to learn about your kiln and recall exactly what glass, metals, materials, molds, and most importantly, firing schedule you used. Over time, a properly kept log is critical to keeping track of what you’ve done. It will help...

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