Monday, November 9, 2009

Successful First Firing

Early stoking

A group of soul pots tumble-stacked on the left

Me and Morgan just after a stoke

Looking inside a grate pipe, filled with castable - center is hollow.

Can anyone guess who this stoker is (nearing the end of firing)?

Thank you Phillip Pollet, Jared Zehmer, Morgan Hatfield, David Steumpfle, Andres Allik, Wil Mahan, Mary Holmes and Susan McGehee for helping out with my first-ever wood firing. We bent cone 13 in the front and 10 in the back and sealed up the kiln at around 6:45 p.m. yesterday, about a 14-hour firing. Mary served some Irish stew and bean soup afterward, and our friends Jack and Donna from Aberdeen brought handmade ravioli which we ate for lunch.

Only a couple of incidents:

Morgan was stoking the kiln while I went for coffee in the morning and when I got back, he said there was a big "boom" that shook the ground. We found a stress crack in the concrete which seemed to have developed under the firebox. I believe it was caused by a wet spot that formed under the firebox when the grate pipes dripped condensation all night long during preheating, resulting from the curing of castable that was packed inside the pipes. Hopefully, the crack is nothing to worry about.

Phillip and I scrambled around relocating the chain that held our stoking door after swelling of the kiln door made it impossible to slide the chain to open the door.

We overstoked a couple of times and lost temperature while we waited for the wood to burn down.

We will let the kiln cool today and begin opening it up Tuesday.
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