Sunday, September 27, 2009
I am posting some pieces from the first firing that show the effect of ash and a little soda on the glazed pots. There is a mixture of stoneware, white stoneware and porcelain in this firing so the surfaces are mixed in terms of how the glazes are being influenced by the color of clay under them. Some have more ash intertwined with the glaze and these pieces were closer to the firebox. I was pleased and surprised by the surface effects that I attained in this first firing.
Friday, September 4, 2009
The first firing is done and the results were mixed. The front 1/3 of the kiln came out great, the middle third was OK but somewhat cool and the back never got to the temperature I wanted it to achieve. The firing took 15 hours which includes a 4 hour preheat with gas to cure the arch keystone and the back wall top inset. I learned that with this kiln less wood per stoke is better than more as it is easy to choke it up with too much wood. Also, the front air intake required less air than I anticipated. There are 4 air intake ports on the bottom front and I ended up using the two middle ones. My biggest problem was even distribution of heat which is not uncommon for a wood kiln but I think I crammed it too full and did not allow enough room for heat flow front to back. It was fairly even in terms of heat from top to bottom in the front and middle of the chamber. I used a little salt at the end and it combined with the ash deposits on the clay nicely.
The next firing will be stacked a bit looser and with less little stuff crammed everywhere. Also, there were some pieces of castible on the surface of the top pots so I need to work the loose bits out of the margin between the last bricks on the inside top of the arch and the cast keystone. I will post some pictures of the finished pots in my next posting.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The morning of the first firing I looked out to the garden and look who was watching! A very large Red Tailed Hawk sitting on the gatepost to the entrance of the garden. What a magnificent animal. I am hoping that he/she is a good omen for the upcoming firing.