I thought I owed an update on the glass casting. Well, it all got a little bit worrying. The first night of firing we were woken by a strong smell. Investigations proved the source to be the kiln, which, in its mould drying phase, was filling the studio with smelly steam. This definitely wasn’t part of the plan, so we switched off the kiln and left it to cool. In the morning we opened the kiln to find one mould cracked and a nasty brown tinge to the kiln.
Fearing the worst, I contacted Kilncare, to find that this was actually perfectly normal. I perhaps needed to slow the drying phase to prevent cracks. Apart from that the brown stain was caused by the water, which would burn off. Panic over, reset process.
For the second attempt I decided not to use the already cracked mould, so the ‘gold bar’ will have to wait for another day. The foot went back in and, with a slow ramp up, appeared to melt well. The picture below is of us taking a quick peek at the 880 degrees C melting phase. The wire in the picture is being used to pop a couple of bubbles in the molten glass.
The foot is now in its long cooling down phase. This takes about 4 days to prevent cracking of the glass.