Friday, November 26, 2010

After Firing, The Clean-up

After the ash has settled and the pots removed there is still a big job for a wood-firer. Cleaning up the kiln and kiln shed. This time I have to remove the sand from the bottom of the kiln because it is so full of melted ash that it is stuck together. It protects the floor of the kiln from glazing. There are wads to pick up and the worst part, shelves to clean. They weren't nearly as bad as last time. Start with a sharp chisel use the angle grinder as needed. The truck load of wood is now down to a five gallon pail of ash. The ash will be spread in the bush and the wads and sand become fill beside the shed.
No photos from the last firing....cleaned the pots up and off they went to a sale last Saturday. Sold almost all of them so won't be going to the sale this weekend, not enough stock! No time to make any more pots this season either. The dog fur hat factory is now back in operation.
Once the kiln is all cleaned up and the shelves are clean and washed it will be time to go out in the bush and get wood for next Spring.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Beating the Cold and Snow

It was supposed to snow today and then get -30 by the end of the week. No snow today and a very manageable -1. This evening I see that they are only calling for -22. Not that bad either.
Had a pretty pleasant firing. That is if you think staying up until midnight and getting back up at 4 am is pleasant. Being out in the dark was a bit of a bummer, did have a trouble light on with a VERY long extension cord. Usually I am firing in the Spring and Summer when it is daylight all the time. Anyhow it is all over now but the waiting....
Ken cut the ends off some pieces of wood I had cut about an inch too long. Don't know how that happened. Much bad language when I found out they wouldn't fit...flames coming up etc. etc. then trying to get the wood out. yuck.
Okay. I hope I'm not the only one who likes to see the flames coming out of the chimney. All wood firers are pyros, it is a given. You know who you are!!
Will post some photos of the results later in the week. At least three days before we can open up. If it gets -30 maybe sooner. Total time of firing 8:30 Saturday evening to 6 pm Sunday. Left the mouseholes open for another hour while I made dinner to cut down the coal bed. Worked well.
I had some human guests and two avian guests. A very large Hairy Woodpecker landed on the chimney for a second before he took off. A Northern Three-toed woodpecker did a very through investigation of my wood looking for bugs. He was about two feet away and I got a really good look.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Work and More work

Back from my latest adventure to the lower 48. Time to get back to work! Just finished four days of pit-firing in my two trashed wood stoves. They work much better than a pit in the ground. Because they are lined with soft brick they hold the heat better and it is much easier to get the temperatures needed for good and consistent colour development. Out of 48 pots fired 46 were good to sell. One cracked and one got a piece of the ratty stove dropped on it....of course it was a large bowl, now on the shard pile.
Spent the afternoons glazing a load for the wood kiln. This afternoon I made the wads and glued them on. Every square inch in my shop is covered with pots. Tomorrow I get the pots from the firing I did before my trip ready for a sale on Saturday. Saturday evening load the kiln and start the fire....guess what my plans are for Sunday, beginning at 4:30 am???? Not to mention the 110 hats just ordered....