18 Hours and 2 Minutes

That’s what it took to complete the “first firing” of the L&L Kilns e23-T this weekend. Saturday, we got it set up and did the kiln wash. Sunday morning at 5:22am, I programmed the kiln for it’s first firing according to instructions. 18 hours later, at 11:24, the Dynatrol reported “CPLT”, and the temperature started dropping, the target temperature of 2160° F being achieved.

During the time leading up to the completion, we finished off almost all the remaining smaller projects in setting up the studio. Skip came by about noon and assisted. We set up a storage cabinet, repaired and put legs on one end of a kitchen counter and drawer set I’ve had in storage for several years, sealed up a gap in the roof soffette where bees could get in, put wheels on an old plywood box frame that will be used as a kiln fence in the studio, rearranged tables into their “official” positions, built a small stepping platform for loading the kiln, and set up what could be the most important piece of equipment in the studio – the beer ‘fridge (which will soon be stocked with Mother Earth Brewery‘s finest.) I’m sure I left something out, but the bottom line is that I’m ready to start working in the studio (as soon as I get some clay and glaze materials.)

The initial order for the studio equipment went in on 12/22/2009. The kiln was delivered 1/14/2010. The studio setup was essentially finished and the kiln test fired on 3/21/2010.

There’s still more to do, like adding heating and cooling to the building. There are a couple walls that still need insulation and paneling, and there’s a sag in the roof of the side room, all of which can be accomplished as convenient. I’ll keep making notes about studio setup as I go along, but this is a welcomed milestone in the process of setting up Barley Hollow Pottery’s new studio. I don’t think it would have happened anywhere nearly as quick without the enthusiastic support of all my friends and family, and the especially dedicated efforts of Skip Palmer, who served as project foreman, and Christian Smith for her daily support and encouragement. Now, I just have to go make them some really nice pottery.

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