You are here:

Pottery/L&L Kiln Economy Kiln Firing Schedule


QUESTION: My Kiln has 3 knobs with Low 1,2,3 Med 5,6,7,all the way to 12. I saw you posted on an earlier message a firing schedule for a 3 knob kiln but the question nor the answer specified if it was for a bisque firing or glaze firing schedule..I'm thinking it was a bisque answer basically and hour on each setting if I remember correctly.
For a Bisque firing on my manual kiln I have been firing at cone ^04 and shutting the lid, closing all the peep hole and turning the down draft on and leaving it at low for three hours and then I gradually go up in 200 degree intervals until I get to high about twelve hours total firing. Is this to long? I'm thinking it is after reading your post. Everything seems to come out fine, but if I can cut down the hours and not do harm that would be great !

For my glaze firing at cone ^6 I do pretty much the same, but when it get to 2000 degrees the kiln struggles for that last 230 some degrees...may take an additional 2 more hours to get that last 230 firing time on a glaze is taking 14 hours...seems way to long. I was at an art center and had mentioned this to an instructor and he said it was way to long and I could speed the front timing up until I get to around 1300 degrees and then go slower. What do you recommend on my schedules???? thanks so much...I do appreciate your time !

ANSWER: Dear Jude,

Thank you for your recent question. If you will send me the brand of your kiln, I will gladly send you the manual for the kiln as well as a firing schedule for both bisque and glaze firing.

I look forward to your reply.

Ms. Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: It is a 1980 LnL econo kiln rebuilt new elements last year and plugs and wires. I can look up the manual I'm thinking, but I thought you could say if you if the firing was way to long or normal.

Dear Jude,

Thank you for your follow up answer to my question. Yes, the firing schedule you currently have is a bit too long. Using excessive energy to fire only costs you money and time. It does nothing to improve the quality or final beauty of your pottery. However, there are some exceptions to this rule as I will explain further after I repeat the firing schedule I gave in the answer you found. It is for both bisque and glaze as a general firing schedule.

For convenience, the knobs will be labeled as follows:

B - Bottom
M - Middle
T   Top

Bisque Fire Schedule Cone 05

Insert a cone 04 into the kiln sitter.
Place a cone 05 on the center shelf in the center, aligned with a peep hole for viewing.
Leave all peep holes open and prop the lid with a fire brick or one of the cone plugs.
Hour          Ramp Up or Down
0          B1 - M1
2          B2 - M2 - T1
4          B5 - M5 - T2
6          B7 - M7 - T5         Close lid - Plug Lower Peep Hole
8-Finish        B10 - B10 - T10      Plug Upper Peep Hole
10 approximate  The stationary cone should be bent and the cone sitter
         should turn the kiln off. At hour 10, look at the cone
         inside the kiln and see if it is beginning to bend.
         If so check every 15 minutes until the cone bends to
         the correct maturity. If the kiln sitter does not
         shut off within 5 minutes of the stationary cone
         bending, manually turn off the kiln.

Glaze Fire Schedule Cone 6

Insert a cone 7 in the kiln sitter.
Place a cone 6 on the center shelf in the center, aligned with a peep hole for viewing.
Leave all peep holes open and prop the lid with a fire brick or one of the cone plugs.
Hour          Ramp Up or Down
0          B1 - M1 - T1
2          B2 - M2 - T2
4          B3 - M3 - T3
5          B6 - M6 - T3          Close lid and plug lower peep hole.
7          B10 - M10 - T10       Plug upper peep hole.
11-14 approximate    The stationary cone should be bent and the cone
         sitter should turn the kiln off. At hour 11, look
         at the cone inside the kiln and see if it is
         beginning to bend. If so check every 15 minutes
         until the cone bends to the correct maturity. If
         the stationary cone bends and the kiln sitter does
         not shut off within 5 minutes of the stationary
         cone bending, manually turn off the kiln.

During both of the above firings, stay with the kiln beginning at hour 10 for bisque and hour 11 for glaze so that you can get a good determination as to when the stationary cone begins to bend. From there, the cone will continue to bend quickly and could be matured in as little as 15 minutes. So watch carefully and record the number of hours it took to reach maturity so you have something to go by the next firing.

As you learn your kilns disposition, you will probably adjust the firing schedule to meet the characteristics of the kiln itself. You will also probably change the firing control for different types of glazes and techniques. This is perfectly fine. Just remember that during a bisque firing, the crucial period for breakage is temperatures below about 1150F when chemical waters are still in the bisque. After the kiln slowly reaches this temperature, you are safe to bring up the kiln in just about any manner for the pieces in the kiln, i.e. thin or thick pieces require different ramping procedures. Ramping is the term used to bring a kiln "up" in temperature.

During a glaze firing, it is good to bring the kiln up to the same temperature standards as the bisque firing so that the glaze can release chemical waters also. It also helps the glaze spread over the surface of the clay during the first part of the melt.

Now as for those alternate glaze firings I spoke of at the beginning of this writing, there are times when you will need to alter your firing schedule to meet the needs of the glaze. For instance, let's say a glaze you have applied has beautiful patterns that release at a particular temperature, but only if you hold that temperature for a specific amount of time. This is when time becomes your friend and your enemy. It is your friend because during the holding period, wonderful things are going on in the kiln due to the heat effect on the glaze and clay body. It is an enemy because of the energy used. But if the ware comes from the kiln the way you dreamed it would, then the energy used was worth it in the end.

You noticed above, I said "effect on the glaze and clay body". Something many potters do not know or understand is that when they do a glaze firing, not only is the glaze affected during the firing, but also is the clay body. As the temperature rises and the glaze becomes fluid, the clay also begins to take on a fluid like state on the surface, in which the clay and glaze meld together, forming a single surface, if the firing was performed correctly, and on the right clay body for the glaze being used. This is called fusion and is very important for a solid finished piece. Just a bit of information you might be interested in.

So the firing schedules above will serve as general firing schedules. However, you will need to keep detailed firing records to learn how your kiln reacts during a firing so that you can make adjustments to get the best firing with the least amount of energy. Just keep in mind about the first 1150F. This is not changeable.

I hope I answered your question. If you have further questions, you are free to contact me any time. I am always at your service. Much luck you!

Ms. Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Ti Phillips


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 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.

Alliance of Pottery Artists Worldwide Association

Ceramic Industry - PPP Wyndstryder Press - Pottery Journal

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.

©2016 All rights reserved.