Saturday, November 13, 2010

Loving wood firing after eighth firing

Our eighth firing in the wood-fired kiln feels like a good firing. After 16 hours, we reached the highest temperature yet on the back shelf (cone 9) at 10:15 p.m. last night. We peaked inside a few times this afternoon and saw some nice pots, but it was just too hot for pictures yet. I like being able to stick the camera inside the kiln when it's too hot to unload but not hot enough to melt the camera. I can upload the pictures on my computer and expand the photo and actually see the pot better than with my naked eye.

We might get to unload tomorrow, and we hope to fire again in a couple of days.

I've really been loving firing with a wood kiln, although it's a lot of work. There's a lot of preparation, some intense heat that can burn body parts quite easily, early mornings and/or late nights, quite a few disappointing results and cracked pots, a lot of guessing and considering....

There are moments during the firing when I feel enthralled by the atmosphere inside the kiln. Last night, we shut the kiln down by allowing the white heat to slowly dissipate after our last stoke, then we set a few wet pieces of wood into the firebox. I walked to the rear of the kiln and peered into small hole after pulling out a brick near the top of the kiln. I could see to the front of the kiln through the motionless pots. The kiln was totally quiet, and everything was orange except for this bright yellow flame swishing around on the other side of the kiln from where I stood. The flame danced around the first few pots on the top shelf and then disappear, then reappear a second later. I was entranced by its softness.

We all checked out the fleeting yellow flame and then sealed everything up and got some sleep.
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