Learning about Cone Packs!

I always love seeing new cone packs lined up. To me, they look like art.

What is a cone pack, you ask? Before the advent of high temperature thermometers (called thermocouples), potters used “cones” that were specially formulated to melt at a certain temperature (technically after a certain amount of heat work, but I digress) to tell when the kiln had thoroughly heated their pots.

While some potters still use them for that purpose, even with a thermocouple it’s good practice to include cones in your firings to make sure the thermocouple is giving an accurate reading and that the kiln is heating evenly. The reason we use a “pack” of three cones is so we have one cone that melts at the desired temperature, one above, and one below, so we can tell if the kiln got too hot or just not hot enough.

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