Making Bleuette Part 2 - Soft Firing the Greenware
Week 2. Now comes the slow and painless part, soft firing. After pouring for about 7 days the greenware will air dry for a few days, we are very wet here, rain daily, so it has to air dry a few extra days the basement is at 75% humidity. That is down 10 points since I stopped pouring molds, but still wet, we want 40.
This is the 1st batch to get soft fired to a cone 018 in the kiln. Depending on how much you pour daily, is how many soft firings you will have. You can pour more then the kiln I own can hold, so I try to keep it to a load a day for both.
I have two doll kilns and 1 studio size. I cannot fill the studio one by myself so I have one doll kiln set to high fire and the other to china paint 018 firing, this cuts down on maintenance and keeps both working a few times longer before maintenance is required.
This is the kiln loaded up.
This is the kiln firing. You could fire twice a day if you got an early start, but it is hard on the kiln and better to fire only once a day. That is how I was taught.
This is where to put the molds after they dry for a few days. When things are this wet you need to let them sit for a few days, then when they are dry store them in a dry place with pour side down. My room has several spaces to hold all the ones I have acquired all these years. you need to leave some space for air to circulate, I like a 1/2".
This is all that will get done for this week, on these dolls. I will be making shoes and boots for Bleuette, and nursing my bronchitics!
Next week I will start to clean greenware for the high firing process of turning clay into porcelain!