Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Firing and other Ceramics topics.
An electronic controller turns up the kiln, and also turns off the kiln. It can even be used to do a controlled cool down. You can use a pre-programmed Cone Fire mode, or program your own individual segments. The pre-programmed modes automatically turn the kiln up when it is safe to fire the pieces quickly, and down when the clay is at a point where it should be fired slowly. To determine when to turn the kiln off, the controller uses temperature charts to approximate when the appropriate heat work is done (a certain cone level is reached.) This can vary somewhat based on things such as the density of the load being fired. So it is still important to monitor your firings at least periodically by using witness cones inside the kiln. You will learn whether you need to make adjustments to achieve the desired cone.