It can be a challenge to fire an unfamiliar kiln for the first, or even the fourth, time. The Bailey 34/22 at the District Clay Center has been no exception.
I’ve now fired the DCC kiln four times and am still a long way from understanding, not to mention mastering, it. Unlike all the other kilns I’ve fired — which were essentially slightly elongated (vertically) cubes — the 34/22 is a decidedly tall column. I’m still trying to figure out how to manipulate, or at least coax, it with the ideal mix of gas and air.
The kiln has some cool spots, which I’m only beginning to identify. Also, it has a large and very efficient exhaust system, which does a terrific job of sparing the studio from firing fumes, but also obscures one of the key ways I’d grown used to “knowing” a kiln: through the smell of exhaust escaping from it.
As a result, glazes that I’d grown to fire with ease have been very fickle, resulting in about a 50% success rate. My refuse collectors are no doubt getting tired of the weight of my rejects-laden garbage can 🙁
Still, I’m starting to get some keepers out of the kiln, the most notable of which are as follows: