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Fire It Once

Single Fire for Fun, Profit, and a Smaller Carbon Footprint

Members: 56
Latest Activity: Jul 12

Single Firing in the Cone 5 - 7 Range

Maybe it's time for you to kick the bisque habit. Let's talk about why Single Firing might be good for you and your pots.

Discussion Forum

Why Single Fire Instead of Bisquing & Then Glaze Firing?

Started by George Lewter. Last reply by Jack Boyko Aug 9, 2016. 3 Replies

Firing cycle for single firing

Started by Bill Curillo. Last reply by Melissa Mead Sep 7, 2015. 19 Replies

Survey: Once Fired Ceramics

Started by Margaret Davies. Last reply by Margaret Davies Mar 2, 2015. 2 Replies

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Comment by George Lewter on July 22, 2016 at 5:27pm

The single firing group has been pretty inactive. If I were to guess why, it would be because of the little difficulties that can be overcome one by one, but taken in total they seem to make the process more problematic than simply bisquing and glaze firing like most people do. 

I mostly have gone back to conventional firing myself, but if I have a piece that needs a superfast turnaround I will occasionally add the single fire pieces to a normal load and then run a single-fire schedule on the kiln heating very slowly,through 500 degrees and through the 1000-1400 degree range and then just my normal firing schedule.

The biggest problems seem to be when glazing the raw ware. Cracks in the thin areas showing up when drying, crawling before and during firing, and bloating during the firing.

Not all clay bodies will tolerate the process, not all glazes will work well. But if you wanted to develop a line of pieces that you plan to reproduce on a production scale, single-firing could make economic sense. I don't think it makes sense for an art potter constantly making entirely new creations and changing glazes and techniques.

I'm sure Steven Hill is still single-firing, but I read recently that he has upped his firing temperature back up to cone 8.  See the article on his website at http://www.stevenhillpottery.com/glazing/firing/

Feel free to ask questions. I will post this reply to the group.

Comment by Rodney Allen Roe on October 20, 2014 at 10:07pm

Thanks.  One of the poorly performing glazes was Raw Sienna from the MC6 book, a semi-matte glaze.  On the other hand I used "dry red brown" a high iron matte glaze, and it did fine.  This was an interesting experiment.  I'll have to think about whether I want to continue single firing.

Comment by Norm Stuart on October 20, 2014 at 8:32pm

I doubt the interrupted firing caused crawling. By cone 1 everything was more than bisqued, yet very few cone 6 glazes should show any sign of fluidity.

The few times we've done once-fired pieces, I've found the more fluid glazes work better probably because they heal if they get blown-off in places when the greenware off-gasses.

Comment by Rodney Allen Roe on October 20, 2014 at 6:21pm

I fired my first raw glazed, once fired load.  Everything went wrong.  I had a power failure at cone 1.  The kiln temperature was 198F when the lights came back on.  I re-fired to cone 6.  There was serious crawling of one glaze and mild to moderate in others.  A shino glaze worked like a charm.  Does anyone know whether the re-firing may have caused the crawling.  I assume it was a poor glaze / clay fit.

Comment by Kath Bonson on July 13, 2012 at 4:45am
Comment by matthew mejia on February 28, 2012 at 2:17pm

I am working in a community studio, and they are exploring single fire right now.  No real issues at this point and the clay is the cone 6 b-mix from laguna.

Will let you know once I can single fire my own work, as I am using cassius by aardvark and just moved to electric brown by laguna (was hearthstone from mile hi in denver but they do not consistently have the clay).

Comment by Maggie Jones on February 28, 2012 at 12:26pm

~What clays are folks using at the cone 5-7 range??? I am looking for info about vitrification at that temp.

I first learned about single fire with Dennis Parks at a wrkshp in NH in '75... waste oil kiln too. He applied glaze to dried pots. quickly inside then sponge the outside bottom with clear water to equalize pressure then quickly dip the outside. timing was essential. I have not done it in many yrs, my forms are too complicated to withstand the stress.  Have a great day.

Comment by Ian on January 7, 2012 at 10:09am

Hello everyone. My name is Ian. I am the owner of Cloud House Pottery in Delray Beach, Fl. I mailny do Raku. But when I fire to cone 6, I usually single fire. I would like to get to know all of you & share experiences

Comment by Kathy Ransom on December 29, 2011 at 9:31am

I am still pursuing single firing as my kiln is very small and I have been trying a couple of different methods as spraying was still leaving too much moisture.  My biggest problem is with the pieces cracking in the green state from the moisture in the glaze.  Recently I've tried brushing the glaze on in small sections and drying quickly with a heat gun.  The glaze doesn't go on smoothly and I've tried adding 2% CMC gum to my glazes which helps brush-ability and toughens the glaze, enabling me to get it to the kiln but it still clumps on the pot.  I am having success with glazing my pots while still leather hard which is working much better.  I's tricky to get enough glaze on the pot and I am having trouble with splitting in my large mugs along the seam which I am looking at as a design issue.  Bowls and open forms seem to do really well with this and I wondered if anyone else is dealing with this issue and finding solutions?  

Comment by Caroline Long on April 21, 2011 at 12:18pm
I completed my first single firing in my electric kiln to ^6 - will post photos very soon. 
 

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