Transporting your work
There are many ways for people to package their work but here are 2 different options that Andrew uses often when packing and transporting his work. The main goal is to limit the amount your work moves around in the box. If you can shake your box and your pots are not moving, you’ve done an excellent job. This is especially important for greenware since it's the most fragile stage of a clay object's life.
Suitable material for packaging
-Fabric/clothing is least favored mostly to practice safe pandemic procedures. We want to limit high use items such as clothing/fabric from coming into the shop. Also we want to make sure your rags or sweatshirts don’t get lost in our warehouse.
-Newspaper or other paper material
-Plastic bags for glaze ware
If you’re bringing in work to be glaze fired, a great material to use, would be plastic shopping bags. These are great because they provide cushion and are very soft. If you use newspaper to pack your glazeware there is potentially a risk of chipping off some glaze since newspapers are stiffer than plastic bags. If you don’t have any bags to spare the other materials mentioned will work, just be careful with glazed rims. That’s where most of the damage will happen.
Extra cushion Method:
This method is for individuals who may have had traumatic experiences when transporting work and discovering that the bumps along the drive destroyed a couple of pots. You can line the floor of your box with bubble wrap or some crumpled up newspaper for some extra support. Then, wrap every piece individually and set them in your box with roughly 1-2 inches of space in between your pieces. Then you can take more of your packaging material and fill it into the 1-2 inches of space you left between your pots. You can now give your box a bit of a shake to ensure your pots are settled in nice and tight with little movement.
This method is for individuals who have a short commute to the shop or are in a hurry and really have to scram. Just like option one, you can line your box with some cushion and set your work in your box without individually wrapping them. You still want to leave 1-2 inches of space between your pots in order to stuff your packaging material in between them. You may want to use newspapers for this method since newspapers have much less give than bubble wrap.
This is great for all kinds of pots but can work best for bowls and will save you space in your box. Be extra careful when nesting bone dry work. Avoid loading too much weight in one pot, it can potentially break the pot holding everything. Andrew usually only nests about three pieces and wraps each pot individually.
The goal here is to wrap a pot with just enough material that it nests easy and has no wiggle.
Building techniques to help success rate of firings
-Hollowing large forms as much as possible can be a huge help for the firing. Often when we get large, thick work we have to put an extended preheat on the kiln. This usually makes for a longer turnaround time. I do not want to discourage folks from making the work they want to make. My intention is only to give pointers about what can help you as a maker and me as your loader. The more you hollow the less time will go into a preheating and the faster you can get your work back.
-Making sure your work is absolutely bone dry
There should be no glaze on the feet of any pot going to any temperature. A good rule of thumb would be to glaze your work about a ¼ to ½ inch from your foot. We do have stilts but those are mainly for lowfire. stilts will also leave undesirable marks and break off a tiny bit of glaze which ends up becoming a very sharp area of your pot since glaze is essentially colored glass and broken glass is super duper sharp. It will also save you a little bit of cash since we charge $1 a stilt that has to be used.