I've lowered my kiln temperatures all the way down to 820 and tested metallic beads, they still lost reduction. I bought a stand-alone pyrometer to test the temperature, and it was off by 50 degrees F, but even with adjustments the reduction was still disappearing. I've also tried activated charcoal, with no luck. Pam suggested my kiln might be contaminated.... but with what???
I do have some very old mandrels... old ones that have rusted but I've scrubbed off the rust and kept using them... [insert peeking-from-behind-couch emoticon] and some really questionable hollow 3/16" mandrels that bent in the heat of the kiln.... omg... maybe this is why my problem keeps getting worse. We can't think of anything else it could be!
I haven't searched LE yet for threads about iron contamination, but Pam thinks she remembers someone talking about it there. Do any of you have experience with this?
My kiln should be back in a couple of weeks, all rebuilt... I'm sooooo excited. Hoping, praying, wishing that somehow this problem gets solved!
In the meantime I'm going through my THOUSANDS of orphan beads and having a "Christmas in July" sale on Etsy! My 11-year-old daughter sorted through all the orphans for me. She organized them according to design, like scroll beads, discs, spacers, encased, sculptural, etc. She was a huge help. I can't believe she did all that. I paid her! :)
More on the Christmas in July sale in my next post!