Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Wait Begins

Finished up at around 8 pm. last night. Started the campfire in the bottom of the kiln at 9 pm. the night before and filled it up with wood every half hour until 11:30. Shut the damper and went inside for a couple of hours of sleep...big joke, too excited about the firing too have much shut-eye! Alarm rang at 4:15. There were some coals still burning so filled her up and off we went. The bottom opening is covered with an old door I got off a wood stove until I change to firing on the hobs.Then I put in 6 bricks and clam it up so no air can enter. Hobs are brick shelves inside the firebox that hold the wood above the coal bed. You have to have a really good hot coal bed before the wood ignites on the hobs. Once you do it is pretty cool to hear the wood explode and the flames get sucked into the kiln and then out through the chinmey!
When it is still dark there isn't much I can do between stokes except stare into space and think about what other jobs I should be getting done in the garden. Once it gets light I can read, drink tea and yesterday, work on a sweater order that is very late.....the hardest part of the firing is just waiting for the kiln to cool. Three days and I get to look at my work! Sure hope I didn't knock any pots over this time.....last time I lost the best 5 pots. They ended up all glued together with melted glaze where they were touching.
Didn't get as hot as the last time, which was grossly over-fired. All wood firers love to brag about how hot they've managed to get their kilns. Yes, getting to cone 12 and holding for 12 hours is really great! No, glaze all over the shelves, slumped pots and wasted wood is NOT! Anyways, let the waiting begin.......

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