Firing Multiple Shelves at Once
This is part two of a multi-part tip.
Click here to go to part one.
Here are a few
more suggestions that make it more likely to have success when
firing multiple shelves at once.
If your kiln has
separate controls for the top element, turn down (or
turn off) the top element and concentrate firing with the side
elements alone. This will often provide more uniform heat
Another option that often works is to
full fuse with the top shelf and tack fuse with the bottom.
You'll need to experiment a bit to find the precise temperature
that will allow this to happen successfully, but this approach
tends to work well in most kilns.
both three shelf and two shelf configurations. In many
cases the heat characteristics of the kiln will change depending
on the number of shelves. Sometimes two shelves work best for
some items and three shelves work best for others.
Most importantly, don't be concerned
if your first efforts are less than perfect. The best
configuration often differs by kiln, so experimentation is the
only way to determine what works best in your kiln.
Finally, be aware that in many cases
you will also need to slow down the rate of temperature increase
in order to prevent thermal shock when using multiple shelves.
For this reason the time saved will not be as significant as
hoped. In the end, you may find that single shelf firings work
Copyright 2006 Brad Walker. All rights
Most of these tips came from
posters on the Warm Glass bulletin board.