Four Inch Bowls, Step 5. Bisquit firing.

This post is a birthday edition! I am 24 today! My presents have included an apron with mushrooms on it, a loaf of bread, some underwear (I was in desperate need), a couple of books and lots of chocolate. And Lauren cooked us a wonderful dinner of grilled salmon (marinated in soy sauce, mustard and lemon juice) with lentils, corn and roasted tomatoes. Accompanied by a Kiwi Pinot Noir. Mmmm mmm mmmm.

But this is about step 5, bisquit firing. This stage depends on your kiln. The principle is essentially the same whatever kiln you have though. It is a low temperature firing which serves to drive most of the water out of your pots and make them easier to handle (stronger) when glazing.

Pots going into the bisquit kiln are very fragile. Mike Finch told me to treat them like eggs.

Here is a picture of the gas kiln at Winchcombe about two thirds stacked:

Each shelf has three supports running from top to bottom.

It depends on your kiln but this process should not take more than twelve hours. Try to let the kiln cool slowly and not be tempted to crack it prematurely.  Loading and unloading are pretty easy, you just have to be extra careful not to knock the whole stack over by catching a shelf on your clothes or some such.

As there is no glaze involved you can have your pots touching any which way you like. It is best not to put too much pressure on any one point but within reason pots an be stacked densly and high. Bowls inside bowls inside bowls! Here's a tower of my four inchers:

These ones were fresh out of the bisquit kiln. You can see the clay has changed to a pinkish white.

 Once they are out of the kiln you can move on to step 6 whenever time allows.