After the fun of firing….
I can’t imagine how I could load my kiln with conventional kiln shelves. I use only recrystallized silicon carbide shelves, bar-stock, and posts in my firings. After each firing, I carefully sand each piece by hand, removing bubbled glaze – the salt glaze itself – that is deposited on every surface of the kiln. Add about 3 hours to the labor budget for the firing… sigh.
The wadding comes off easily, most of the time. I use a 40-grit paper and a special silicon carbide tool for most of the work. The wadding I use now is great – on stoneware, it leaves only a trace of its’ presence. It’s half alumina hydrate and half Helmer kaolin, by volume. If you mix it up about a month ahead, it is very plastic and easy to form. I like pretty dinky wands for most of my pieces, and am willing to spend the time to roll them all out by hand.