Kiln God

Here's what our clear glaze looks like when it's underfired.

As you might have heard, we've been having kiln problems this week. I've replaced the relays and thermocouple, I've tested all of the elements, run diagnostics, emptied the kiln, and test fired it, and after all of this, we think we've found the problem.

The kiln god is pissed off.

We're pretty certain that it heads the kiln union, but it's ambiguous because it communicates via pyrometric cone. That's not a terribly articulate form of communication. It's like a semaphore, but instead of using flags, you use melted ceramic pyramids. Yeah, a lot is left to interpretation.

Still, we managed to work out that it had initiated strike action on the basis of our dog Kuboosz not coming to visit anymore. Kuboosz took a permanent vacation to doggy Valhalla last week.

Only just now have we come to realize that perhaps Kuboosz was acting as our mediator with the kiln god. Kuboosz had a bed in the kiln room, and when the kilns had done firing, he liked to go in there to sleep. Or so we thought.

It's our guess that he wasn't just snoozing; he was negotiating in dreamspace with the kiln god on our behalf. Shmoozing, not snoozing.

Anyway, we haven't had a successful firing since Kuboosz took his holiday pay and retired. Now we're left with this obstinant kiln god that's picketing our studio with placards of unmelted cones. What the hell does that even mean?!

I suggested we send the cat in there to straighten it out, but Pixie vetoed that idea. "Are you crazy?!" She said, "That would be like sending Borat in to negotiate the Cuban missile crisis."

So we're sort of stalemated right now. It looks like the kiln god might be willing to work-to-rule. Once we took all of the pottery out of the kiln, it fired to temp perfectly, which really isn't all that helpful. A bit passive-aggressive, if you ask me.

I set the dial on my multimeter to ohms and tested the resistance in the elements. Instead of coming up with a number, it flashed with the word 'YOU". So my question is, how do you bribe a surly kiln god to get back into its good graces?


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