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At what point should you turn off the Orton vent?

It depends on what you are firing. Generally, you can leave the vent on throughout the firing and cooling cycle. The vent will help remove moisture during “candling” at the beginning of the firing. Moisture will get into the fan and vent duct but will dry out later as the kiln heats up. Turn the vent off when the kiln is cool enough to unload barehanded.

However, the cooling rate can affect the appearance of glazes. If you want to slow the cooling, turn off the vent 30 minutes after the kiln has fired the ware to completion.

Another factor in cooling pottery is quartz inversion. If your ware is breaking during cooling, turn off the vent before quartz inversion, which is around 573C / 1063F.

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