This year, I discontinued my membership to the local community ceramics studio and ordered my very own kiln! I bought an L&L e23-M3. It’s got 5.5 cubic feet of space, almost 2 feet across, and a little less than 2 feet high on the inside. Not huge, but not teeny. I didn’t want a kiln so large that bending over to place the heavy shelves would be difficult, plus I’m a fairly slow maker, so making enough pieces to fill the kiln won’t take as long as it would with a larger kiln.
I’m also making my own glazes. I’ll still use my containers of commercial brush-on glazes, but want some containers of dipping glazes that I mix up myself. Lucky for me, Paoli Clay Company, just outside of Madison, has just about every glaze chemical I need. I’ve spent the last two weeks measuring and mixing powdered chemicals together with water (wearing rubber gloves and a face mask,) sieving the glaze mixtures to make sure all the chemicals are separated and dissolved into water, and carefully measuring the specific gravity of each glaze – how thick or thin it needs to be for the best results. I made lots of little glaze testers so I can test the glazes to make sure they’re good enough to use on my pieces.
My first glaze firing will happen within days, and I’m pretty darn excited!