Adam Wegener makes and teaches ceramics in Portola Valley, CA. Last year, he bought a Fluke 189 DMM and a high temperature thermocouple from the local ceramics store that allows him to measure temperatures up to 2300°F. Now he uses the 189 to log temperature over the 30-hour heat up and cool down cycle. Then, he loads the temperatures onto his computer and uses the peak temperature and heating rates to perfect his next firing.
Infrared (IR) thermometers enable you to measure temperature quickly, at a distance, and without touching the object you're measuring. They are so useful, easy, and even fun to use that they have become as common in kitchens as they have on factory floors. Infrared thermometers are often used to find overheated equipment and electrical circuits, but they have hundreds of other uses.