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Pottery/Storing Kiln Furniture

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Question
Hi;  I have 2 kilns out in my freezing garage..and I now haul all
my kiln furniture inside for winter as I have lost/cracked expensive and large hi/fire shelves and I can't be hauling them
in/out all the time..is there a set up or have you heard of someone's clever invention as to how to avoid this.  I keep trying to think of ways I could leave everything in the garage but it seems to be getting so much colder in our Iowa winters that I am finding cracks in the shelves..also I am starting to worry about my old electric
kilns being so unprotected..I know they have lasted for years out there but things are changing and I am hoping you have heard of a way to protect my equipment..thank you for your time..Cat

Answer
Dear Cat,

    Thank you for your recent question. Although winter weather can play havoc on many things, I don't believe the winter coldness is affecting your kiln shelves by causing cracks. What I do believe is happening is the cracks are becoming evident because of the way they are stored. I am going to give you some suggestions to help you store your kiln furniture so that you will not have to worry about them being damaged either by the weather or manner of storage.

    Store large shelves on their sides. Stacking them will cause stress cracks even in the best weather.

    Wrap each shelf in a terry cloth towel. This will protect them from bumps and if you are concerned about the weather, will also insulate them.

    Build a crate large enough to store the shelves on their sides, similar to the way old LP records were stored.

    As for the kiln, the only concern I would have is condensation. If condensation were to build up on the kiln brick and freeze, it could cause the brick to expand and crack. To prevent this, make sure the kiln is stored up off the ground. Also pack the inside with terry cloth towels to collect any condensation that may try to build on warmer days. Finally, store with the lid closed to create a warmer atmosphere inside the kiln.

    I hope this helps you in protecting your equipment. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me any time. Always at your service.

Sincerely,
Ms. Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat
www.earthstokenfire.com  

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Ti Phillips

Expertise

Will answer any questions on hand building, wheel, glaze, firing. Speciality questions to include those in glaze calculation and development, firing techniques. Please do not send questions on identifying pottery. Although I would love to add this to my question topics, I have a retreat to run as well as the studio and volunteering on AllExperts, and therefore do not have the available time to research indentification and marks. Thank you for understanding.

Experience

Experience includes 30 years in pottery design and education. Have taught online and studio classes worldwide for the last 20 years. Own a pottery retreat specializing in firing techniques. Have 12 years solid experience in glaze calculation and formulation as well as problem solving in glaze chemistry. I am the first potter in the United States to have developed a complete package of pottery equipment blueprints for a studio. The blueprints include wheels, kilns, studio furniture, wedgeboards, raku kilns, slab rollers, ball mills and studio tools.

Organizations
Alliance of Pottery Artists Worldwide Association

Publications
Ceramic Industry - PPP Wyndstryder Press - Pottery Journal

Education/Credentials
University of Sciences and Art's of Oklahoma, studied under Professor Jaymes Dudding.

Awards and Honors
Potter of the year with APAWA, various awards for showmanship and design.

Past/Present Clients
Available upon request.

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