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When you are firing bisque, it is very important that the steam have a way to escape. If you are firing with a kiln vent, the moisture can escape. If you don't have a vent, you must prop the lid open a few inches (with a kiln brick or similar item) during candling and the first few hours of firing. Usually the upper peep hole plug is also removed during this time. After this time the kiln lid is closed. The top peep hole plug remains out during the firing.