offcntr: (chinatown bear)
[personal profile] offcntr
There's something mesmerizing about a kiln as it loads, especially a bisque, where pots are stacked on other pots, or inside, or interlocking. It's really a puzzle in three dimensions, balancing the fragility of the the dry clay against the need to pack in as much as possible. Here's the four stages of my last kiln.

The bottom layer is pie plates, filled with dessert plates; they fill the shelves pretty tightly, leaving only room for one inverted toddler bowl at the center. (I think I have another pic for the Mandala tag.) Second layer is a little more random: batter bowls filled with soups topped with toddlers and cat foods, Small colanders inverted in the middle, mixing crocks, also inverted (to fit under the curve of the batters), and a few tumblers just to take up space.

At this point, I start tall-stacking: casserole stacks two and three high, with plates in between to take some of the pressure off the casserole lids. Tall mugs on painted mugs, pilsners on tumblers, tiles leaning, on edge, in the gap between stacks. Lastly, a half shelf--there's about 3-1/2 inches of unused space, enough for stacks of three plates, or another toddler bowl.

Then close it up, start it firing, and lay out pots to dry on the soon-to-be-hot lid.
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