Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Transferring Pots for Wood Firing



I've loaded and unloaded a lot of kilns during my career as a potter, and every once in a while I'll put some pots in someone else's kiln, requiring me to transport them in their fragile state. My most recent transfer consisted of a lot of green pots. That is, pots that haven't been fired at all.

So, I had to take extra care in packing them into my wife's Prius this past Saturday for a trip to Seagrove Potter David Stuempfle's workshop. David's firing his large wood-fired kiln this week, and he always saves some space for those who help him fire his kiln. David fires his kiln for five to six days, so he relies on other potters to help him stoke the kiln.

I'm scheduled to take a shift Thursday night until midnight or so, and then again toward the end of the firing this weekend.

The photo at left shows the pots at the front of the kiln and a gas burner he uses to preheat the kiln before he begins stoking with wood. He began preheating yesterday evening and plans to switch to wood at midnight tonight.

I helped fire David's kiln when he first built it many years ago, and I have a couple of his early pieces, as well as a couple of pieces that I kept of my own that were fired in the kiln. I haven't participated in a firing of David's since then, and I'm excited about having some work in the kiln.

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David and his two dogs with the kiln in the background, wood
stacked and ready for stoking.
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