Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The kiln has arrived...

            And it is beautiful! It's so shiny I could use it as a mirror:

            Yes, that is a picture of the side of the kiln. I was a little amazed at just how shiny it is. The kiln came in a really big truck. The truck driver pulled up to me running out the door and jumping up and down waving at him. I'm sure that made it obvious he'd found the right house. He backed the truck into the driveway to get it closer to the barn door:

            The truck driver declined to be on camera, but that's all right. He was very friendly and helpful. That great big truck only had a couple of boxes in it, and one of them was my kiln! The truck had a lift gate to lower the kiln to the ground, and then the truck driver rolled it across the lawn on a dolly. Thankfully the rain had stopped minutes earlier, so we weren't getting wet, and neither was the precious box. (We had a tarp ready to go just in case.)
            My wedging table, which is actually an old door set on top of two cinder blocks, was used as a ramp from the lawn into the barn-studio. It got kinda muddy, but that's not unusual for a wedging table! I'll have to clean off the grass before I use it again.
            The kiln was set down right in front of its final location. I was going to take a picture of the giant box, but we got excited and tore all the packaging off of it before I remembered I had my camera with me. Sorry!
            This is the kiln, still sitting on the pallet mere minutes after it arrived:

            What's that contraption on the backside of the kiln? That's the fancy "one-finger" lid lifting device that Cone Art makes. Here is Mr. Riverdragon demonstrating:

            His verdict? "It gave my finger a work-out, but it's not that hard." My verdict? It's much nicer on my back than the kilns I'm used to. I didn't choose the kiln based on the lid lifter, but I'm happy to have it. My back has enough problems on its own!
            Here's the inside of the kiln. Aren't those nice, clean, undamaged bricks lovely? I'll have to take good care of them.

            One thing that makes me very happy to have a new kiln rather than an old kiln is this blue box:

            Kiln sitters are ok, they work fine when they work, which is most of the time really, but.... it's just super nice to be able to program the kiln. I'm not planning to leave it unattended, but this way I don't have to worry about minding it so much.
            So that is how the kiln arrived. The next step is to get it to the right spot. The kiln weighs something like 300 pounds, so two small people aren't really able to just pick it up and put it down where we want it. Instead, I sat down with my handy dandy instruction booklets to figure out how to take it apart.

            Cone Art actually makes it pretty simple to take the kiln apart. It's mostly a matter of unscrewing a bunch of screws and unplugging some wires inside the control box. It took me maybe a half hour, but I bet it would take me ten minutes now that I know how to do it.

            This is the inside of the control box after I removed it from the side of the kiln. I'm pleased that it's easy to look at it and understand which wires are for what (with a little help from the diagram in the manual). I didn't feel at all worried about tinkering around with it when I was taking it off:

             The bottom half of the kiln was still kinda heavy, but entirely lift-able for the two of us. It has handles on the sides that made it easy to move onto the stand. We leveled the stand before putting the kiln on it. This is the bottom half of the kiln on the stand in its final position. You can see some wires where the control box goes:

            And then our fingers got cold. You can see in the above picture that it was dark out by this time, and the barn-studio gets pretty chilly at night these days. We decided that hot cocoa was in order and called it a day. Tomorrow morning I'll be putting the kiln back together, and then we'll have a picture of the whole thing set up and ready for the electrician! The kiln came with a cord but no plug due to Canadian regulations (Cone Art is located in Canada), so the electrician will have to either put on an appropriate plug or hard-wire the kiln. Either way it'll have its own circuit breaker that is easy to get to in case of trouble.
            Hooray! Thank you, all of you who took part in making this possible! This kiln is going to be a great improvement to my ability to make my work and share it with the world. Thank you for taking a leap and supporting a young artist starting a wild adventure!


  1. Congratulations! You must be so thrilled.

    Programmed kilns make life SO much easier.

    Did you feel the earthquake - or were you far enough away from the epicentre?

  2. Love knowing that my contribution to your situation is working!!! Have fun, can't wait to see some clay results.

  3. Yippee and congratulations! Let us know when you are ready to take on commissions. Mikie has several pieces in mind.

  4. Robert - actually I had no idea about the earthquake until you mentioned it! It certainly didn't cause any problems here.

    Anonymous - I'm glad! :) I'm already having fun, too.

    Jenny - I'm guessing I won't be ready to take new commissions until spring sometime. I'll try to keep you updated, and I'm planning to announce maybe in December/early January just when that will be.

  5. Yeehaa!!! Have a great time setting it up and getting to work. You must be so thrilled, I am and I'm half a country away.