Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Peter Pugger on the way

 This was my setup in North Carolina for the very small Olympic kiln which I used for soda test firings and refires. And now that the weather is going to be turning again, this time for the better, it's time to get working on finding replacement metal sheeting to keep the wind from blowing out the burners.

I have natural gas now and have drilled out the orifices and hopefully it will be ready to go sometime this week. The first group of glazed and decorated pots have certainly been ready for months; and there are enough other pots on hand for multiple firings. I'll just have to batch new liner and decorating glazes for them.

So far I've had no luck finding replacement metal for the wind screen. One scrap metal place looked abandoned, and the only visible metal was thick, rusted out material. Lowe's won't cut one of those big sheets of corrugated roofing, which is what I used before, as seen in this picture. It was some leftover we had on hand, that was used as roofing for our old wood shed. If I had known how difficult it was to replace it, I would have thrown those pieces on the moving truck! There's only one more possible source in the county and I'll try them today. Needless to say,  I'm open for any and all suggestions for possible material and sources for it. I'd prefer lightweight, non corrugated material, inexpensive, probably galvanized sheet metal (a lot easier to cut with tin snips).f.

My new pugmill wasn't sent out Friday as originally scheduled, but they assured me it will be sent out today via Fed Ex and will take about 3 days to get here. So, if all goes as planned, it should be here by Friday or Saturday.

Yesterday my last order of Velvet underglazes arrived and I got them on to bisqued tiles, and glazed them as well as the latest, bisqued slip tests. After a cold night in the unheated studio, they're still not dry this morning, and will have to wait till tomorrow to be fired. So I'm skipping the studio today and heading to town for food, soil, and plant shopping, as well as a stop at the only other scrap metal place in the county.

And, if I'm lucky enough to find that metal today, I'll light that little Olympic kiln later this afternoon to make sure those burners are working OK after sitting all winter, and load and fire it tomorrow, which is forecast to be a perfect firing day, with a high of 75 after a coolish, mid 40's, morning.


  1. Have you looked at getting a roll of aluminum flashing for roofing ?

  2. Thanks for the suggestion Dennis. Fortunately I got some very thin sheets of steel for only $.60 a lb. The aluminum is over $4 a lb Who knew! They also told me, that the aluminum would not be good near heat. I guess there are some toxic fumes that might get released. I know it's not good to use some of those metal buckets for raku, but I didn't think just leaning some pieces again the kiln as a wind break could be a problem. But, since the stainless steel was cheaper and nice and thin, it wasn't difficult making the choice of the steel.

  3. We used flashing for some roof repair and it was cheap, easy to cut, might just be the thing, like Dennis said. Also, having a theater background... If you have a good community theater somewhere with a good tech shop, they always save scraps of everything, also when I'm looking for prop scraps, I dumpster dive at construction sites, lots of treasure.... Your little kiln is like the child of my big one :-)

  4. My little gas kiln is like the child of my old big, soda/salt kiln. It was great for soda tests and re-fires; and now it my lone gas kiln. After seeing your raku pieces, I might just use it for some raku in the fall. I've never done much of it, but I think the grand kids might get a kick out of the process.

    I got some thin stainless steel today at a local scrap metal place, for $4.80, so I just have to use tin snips to cut it into four pieces. It finally looks like I will be firing that kiln - maybe in a couple of days. I thought I'd test it today,since it's been sitting out all winter with just a tarp cover; but we were out shopping all day and I'm wiped and still have to make an early dinner. So after dinner I'll cut that steel. I have to be up early to turn on the tiny electric test kiln with the latest slip and under glaze tests, so I'll test that little gas kiln sometime tomorrow and if it all looks like a go, I'll load it and fire it Thursday. I'm ready to see some finished pots. I'm sick of doing all these test tiles!