Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Loading, Unloading Kilns in Seagrove


Checking the height of a pot at the top of an electric kiln
(slideshow below)


Loading kilns can be a challenge. I used to pride myself in how many pots I could fit into my electric kiln, especially when I was firing a bisque load - the first firing we potters do before we glaze the pots and fire them to their peak temperature.

With a bisque kiln, pots can be stacked on top of each other, inside each other, and even on their side sometimes. Sounds crazy now, but I used to stack dinner plates from the bottom of the kiln to the top. That was a lot of weight on top of that bottom plate.

Nowadays, I'm not nearly as productive as I used to be, so I'm often loading a kiln thinking that I should have some smaller pots to fit in all the nooks and crannies left by the larger ones.

Speaking of loading kilns, 21 potters from Seagrove are loading and firing the wood-fired kiln at the NC Pottery Center in early April. The firing is scheduled for April 4. Loading will begin April 3.
On April 18, the N.C. Pottery Center will be holding a fund-raising auction called Faces for the Center, and some of the pieces from the collaborative wood-firing will be auctioned.

Also on April 18 and 19, potters in Seagrove will be holding their own kiln openings as they participate in Celebration of Spring in Seagrove.

The slideshow below shows me loading unfired pots into my electric kiln. Click the arrows on the far right to view slides manually. Click "captions" for some explanation of the pictures. If you click "Play" on the left, you'll hear me playing a tune on the flute as the slideshow plays.


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