The Basic Dozen: Loading a Kiln with Ceramic Ware
These general guidelines apply to all types of ceramic ware. In future emails, I will send guidelines for loading greenware, glaze, and overglaze.
1) To make full use of your kiln’s firing capacity, group similar sizes of ware together inside the kiln.
2) Place taller pieces on the top shelf.
3) Keep ware at least 1” away from a heating element. If the tip of a large piece of ware comes closer than 1” to the kiln wall, position that section of ware between rows of elements.
4) For stability, stack posts so that they are directly in line with each other vertically.
5) Minimum spacing between shelves is 2 ½”.
6) Stack shelves so there is at least one row of element between any two shelves.
7) Posts used with each shelf layer should be at least 1” taller than the ware.
8) Keep ware and kiln shelves 1” - 1 ½” away from the thermocouple or Kiln Sitter tube.
9) Load the top shelf to a height where one element row is between the top shelf and the top of the kiln.
10) When loading ware and shelves, do not dislodge the thermocouple.
11) Do not move the kiln or bump into it after you have loaded it. This could topple the ware inside.
12) Angle a witness cone on a shelf so that when the cone bends, it does not touch nearby ware.
Arnold Howard Paragon Industries, Inc.