Sunday, April 6, 2008

Our First Wood Firing!

Wow. I'm way behind on my updates - my apologies.
So a week and a half ago we loaded up and fired Penland's two-chambered wood kiln.

Pictured here are glazed wares ready to get loaded into the chambers. Maya Machin, our awesome teaching assistant is in the green vest.

Pots get categorized by size and stacked onto shelves with other like-sized pieces.

Here you can see the first chamber of pots almost full. Before the pieces get placed into the kiln they get "wadded." We put little wads of alumina and clay onto the feet of each pieces so that it doesn't get stuck to the kiln shelf during the firing. That is something that is unique in a wood kiln. Because the flame from the wood is laden with flying wood ashes which at high temperature will land every where in the kiln and melt we need a way to easily separate the vessels from the shelves afterwards. That's also the reason that the shelves look white, we paint the shelves with a similar wash of alumina and silica.

Here's a video of my class mates, Zvi and Kim applying wadding. Maya makes a cameo as well.

The firing itself lasted about 36 hours; we started on a Thursday around 10 am and finished around 10 pm on Friday. Pictured here is Josh Copus, our other awesome teaching assistant pulling pots out of the fire box.

Crap!, this video is sideways. Well, it's a video of Josh stoking the kiln with wood. We do this A LOT during the firing.

Unloading happened on the following Monday. Pictured is the first chamber just after the door was unbricked.

Below are some of the results. Left to right: a tall bottle vase by Maya Machin, a curvaceous vase by James Ward, an aeroplane bottle of mine, and a snail jar of mine as well.

Local potter, Michael Kline, stopped by to see some of our pots and posted some pictures on his blog here.


Gamera said...

I love the before and after shots of the kiln. It's incredible to see how drastically everything changes during the firing.

princess cortney said...

i am really impressed with everything you are doing. you are one amazing guy. and i am happy you are there. you go!