How’d it go?
I find that Paul’s firing schedules are a little longer than I used to use, but my results have been SIGNIFICANTLY better. I wasted a couple of firings of other people’s stuff by ramping too fast…after that I vowed to find another way! I hate disappointing them after all their hard work. Also, a longer firing schedule doesn’t cost that much more…I think I figured an 18-hour schedule on my 24″x24″ kiln costs me about five bucks. But since you’re doing jewelry, your firings will be much shorter.
“Process” temperature is usually the highest temperature you go to…slumping, full fuse, tack fuse…whatever temperature you’re holding at to achieve that affect is your process temperature. The term is used on Bullseye’s technical documentation, so you’ll see it in other places!
Going up to the process temperature from 1250°, I usually go AFAP/9999. 1250° is a bubble squeeze, and the glass doesn’t shock when it’s that hot.
If I’m doing jewelry components, I either shut off the kiln after the 960° anneal and let it cool down, or use the AFAP (as fast as possible) ramp (9999 on my kiln). That confused me at first, because I thought it was “ramping” 9999° per hour UP, but if you’re final temperature on that segment is lower, it’s ramping DOWN.
Another difference from my earlier firings…I used to “flash cool” by lifting the lid of the kiln, but I understand it’s hard on the kiln. Paul and Karen suggested that I hold at the process temperature for 10 minutes or so, and this has worked fine. After 10 minutes, the kiln starts ramping down AFAP to 960, then holds to anneal. Of course kilns vary, but I’ve used this in both my 9″ AIM kiln and my 24″x24″ Jen Ken, and it works fine.
Paul also suggested firing on the paper-like shelf paper instead of fiber paper. With my larger items, I started putting fiber paper AND shelf paper underneath. I had problems with large bubbles, and this seems to have addressed the problem.
I noticed most of my problems occurred when I would hold at high temperatures, usually full fuse, for long periods of time.
Let us know how that works out for you!