Thursday, February 2, 2012

Getting Started on Firing #22

It's been nearly three months since we've fired the wood-fired kiln, our beloved Manabigama, as it's called by its designers. So, Levi and I took advantage of a lovely warm winter day today and started loading for firing number 22 (I think).

We enjoyed the lazy weather and weren't in any rush to get it done, as we're not sure when we'll fire - probably next week. We loaded four of Levi's tall vases.

We decided to set a couple of Levi's narrower pieces on a small piece of kiln shelf brushed with kiln wash and dusted with sand. We thought wads on the bottom wouldn't be stable enough. Wads made of sand, sawdust and clay are usually placed between the bottom of pots and the shelves to protect the pots from sticking to the shelf when ash from the wood gathers on pots (and under pots) and melts.

We put Levi's tall vases in the back of the kiln, where the kiln is cooler and ash doesn't melt as much as the rest of the kiln. So, we shouldn't have trouble with ash melting around the bottom of the tall vases.

We'll finish loading tomorrow, and then it's off to the spaghetti dinner in Asheboro for the Uwharrie Mountain Run participants. I'll be delivering all those awards we've been working on for the past three months. I can't wait to be stoking again.

This is as far as we got loading the
kiln. We used two full shelves in
the middle of the kiln so we could
place a large tree platter on one.

I've fired only three large platters
in this kiln, and each one warped
or cracked. This one is a bit smaller
in diameter, so maybe it will survive.

Levi's tall vases. The two in the middle
are glazed in a blue glaze for a customer.

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