Saturday, April 03, 2010

Unloading the Anagama

A good firing - every anagama firing seems to come out well in the end,each with its own set of lessons to be learned. We succeeded in getting the top of the kiln hot,using less wood,firing in 4 instead of 5 1/2 days,and getting the very back of the kiln up to temperature - all conclusions from last year's firing,the second in this rebuilt kiln. Good dry and varied wood is clearly an important part of the mix,also a more serious damper than last 2 years'. A dedicated team is another vital element - you can never predict who will turn up at critical moments [especially the last 8-10 hours,when normal mortals are exhausted and have crept off to sleep]- but they inevitably do. The general emotional state was 'more than happy,less than ecstatic' - lots of good-looking,clean pots came out of the kiln,and the excitement of pots pushed to the very edge of their capabilities, or beyond [which was lacking] will have to wait for next year. The first two firings,looking back,were groping in the dark with a largely-unknown huge new kiln;this year was about applying lessons and learning the basics of control,next year is time to push it a bit further.
Can you spot five of my pots in the pictures,children?


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