Sunday, February 17, 2013
Have you ever wanted something so bad but then once you got it, you were terrified to use it? This is the story of my new programmable kiln controller. (the picture is of my incredibly handy hubby installing it)
When I first started doing pottery, a friend of mine talked me into going to a workshop. We met in my instructor's garage every Thursday and made pottery for a couple hours a week but this was not nearly enough to satisfy my addiction to mud. I started in July and by the end of August, I was addicted to Craig's list as well - checking several time a day for an unwanted kiln to find a home in my Gardenhouse. I had started dreaming of turning the original house that was on our property from being part storage for chicken and pig feed, garden tools and any other unwanted junk to a full time studio. Eventually in January, Rob and I found a suitable kiln for sale in our price range north of Columbus - about 3 hours a way. Luckily it was snowing and the truck decided to start stalling out on us about 20 minutes into our trip so after one false start, we were on our way with a van and a trailer and a lot of straps.
They actually had 2 kilns, and they were both huge. We took the better of the two and 14 shelves and headed back to Maineville. I was so excited!!!! Of course then I was so scared because I had never touched a kiln let alone install one. I was clueless. It took about a month or two (or 4) for Rob to get it installed and me to have enough wares and nerves to try it out. It took a few times and a lot of questions but now I am very comfortable with my "Buela" although she takes up a lot of my time. My kiln is totally manual which means I have to spend 2 hours flipping switches to get it started, and then after waiting 12 hours, I have to spend 2 hours shutting it down so it doesn't cool too quickly. This does put a cramp in my social life of PTO and high school sporting events (ha!).
So - to get to the point of this tale, I asked for an automatic kiln programmer for Christmas this year. I was so excited!!!! I picked it up myself in November, wrapped it, took it to my in-laws on Christmas day, opened it, and ohh and aaauuhhhed about it till the middle of January. Rob installed it for me and I took all of February making wares once again so I could fill it and figure out how to work this thing - AND working up the courage to try it out.
I did start it up yesterday. It seemed to be working just fine until the very end. I got an ERROR reading!! Apparently I didn't set the backup timer for long enough and it didn't get up to it's final temperature. Let's hope I don't have to ask as many questions for this!
I'm still excited and a little less scared. One step at a time.