Thursday, 11 August 2011

Aperture Drop Observation

This kind of firing absolutely requires observation of the progress of the drop. Ideally you would set up the firing surface where you can peek at it during the firing as well as observe the bottom of the kiln or the shelf – which ever you are firing upon.

I you have to choose, then the bottom of the kiln is the most important place to have clear observation lines. Even if you do not want the drop to touch the shelf or bottom of the kiln, you will need to observe how far the drop has progressed.

Thus, planing for the placing of the supports and other elements of the drop are important. Support posts should not obscure the view of the drop, for example. The whole set up should be placed far enough back in the kiln to see the shelf/kiln bottom where the glass will touch down.

If you do not want to have the drop touch down onto a surface, you need to set up a “witness” to indicate how far the glass has fallen. This can be some pieces of fibre stacked up so that your view through the peep hole to the top visible surface of the “witness” will tell you that when the glass touches that line of vision, it has reached the desired length.

You need to patient, as the soaks can be two or more hours long for a low temperature drop.