Bird seed (millet) makes a fine substitute for grog in wadding.[Edit: No, it totally doesn't!] It's cheap and readily available. The drawback is that over long periods of time, it will cause the wadding to stink. At least, that's what happened when some birdseed got into a friend's reclaim bucket one time: it was like the sum of all farts. But I only make small batches of wadding anyway, and a batch usually lasts only a couple of firings. [Edit: Repeat: Do not do this. Bad idea!]
- Every so once-in-a-while, Cone 9 falls before Cone 8. This doesn't happen with other cones, and it doesn't happen all the time. And no, I haven't reversed them, I made extra-super-double sure this time.
- Four and a half: the number of hours between coming out of body reduction and entering glaze reduction, and the beginning of soda application. Four and a half hours during which the kiln needs no adjustments. Would it be so wrong to sleep during that time? The baso valves ensure that the worst thing that would happen is that a burner would go out and the kiln would be uneven: not good but not tragic. Even if a baso valve failed for whatever reason, by that time the kiln is hot enough that propane entering it instantly ignites, so has no chance to build up and create a hazard. In order for any real safety hazard to occur, ALL the burners would have to go out, AND one of the baso valves would have to fail. We are getting into lottery-number unlikely, here.
17 minutes ago