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The Large and Self-supporting cones are used to measure temperature uniformity and/or if there was sufficient heatwork done to mature the ware. Cones indicate whether the ware received an adequate amount of heatwork to properly mature the clay or glaze. A properly fired cone will bend over with the tip of the cone almost touching the shelf. After firing a kiln, a simple glance at the cone can tell if the firing was successful. The small and bar cones are mainly used in the kiln shut-off device called the Kiln-sitter. This is a mechanical device that shuts off the kiln when the temperature inside is sufficient to cause the cone to deform under the weight of the Kiln-sitter rod. The only true measurement of heatwork is from a Large or Self-supporting cone placed on the shelf next to the ware.
Self Supporting Cones (Orton Pyrometric Cones)
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