Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Grand Feu

Last night I took my first shift with the anagama,along with reb Meir and a gaggle of helpers, camp followers and assorted pyromaniacs. We were stoking olive wood,but even that was getting eaten up more and more rapidly by the hungry kiln - 20 minutes between stoking at around 8 o'clock soon dropped to 10,and the temperature was rising steadily. The pyrometer was reading in the high hundreds,and towards the end we looked for a 900 degree cone at the front and decided that it must have gone down,since we couldn't see it. I just talked to Meir,who says that cone 10 is down this morning [1280],the olive is being mixed with eucalyptus to give faster heat [and its unique ash effects] and all bodes well. I'm looking forward to rejoining the firing later this evening. The two main lessons leant from last year's first firing of this kiln seem to be 1] dry wood [and the right sort] and 2] a larger opening for air under the grate; last year's firing got a bit choked up,while this year's version,almost twice as big,was sucking in air at a satisfying rate.


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