Start all over again.
Well, not all over. As you can perhaps imagine after reading this, I was pretty discouraged last night. Like a cork in the ocean, however, I don't stay down for long. I took some comfort in Nina's reassuring words, and started looking for my silver lining. I found a few:
- I turned the burners off around midnight, at barely ▲05. I didn't bother to block the burner ports or shut the damper. When I went out in the morning, I still had color in the chamber. Whatever the issue is, it is not that this kiln is shedding heat.
- The laws of physics apply to me as well as anyone else. If I get the physical properties of the thing right, this kiln will reach temperature. There's no such thing as a curse.
- The most likely culprit -- the stack height -- is the easiest fix.
- The necessary cost of not letting the possibility of failure daunt one, is, well, the occasional reality of failure, however temporary. It's a high price but a fair one.
My plan -- and I do have one -- is to leave the kiln loaded (I already blocked up the ports & damper), get a bunch more hardbrick, and build the stack another...3 feet, say.
And try, try again.