Coldest firing

A busy couple of weeks making by Charade and I and we managed to get enough pots ready for the firing. Laurie helped out immensely by providing about 2/3 of the timber – a curious mixture of pallets and very old Rimu, retrieved from a farmers field. This was added to our pine and gum stash. Rose was also onboard and even a few pieces from the Paeroa Potters.

Starting the kiln on the coldest day of the year meant an extra half hour was needed to thaw the firebox and get the chimney to start drawing. But my box of bricks soon began to hum along and follow the log in its usual predictable way. With Laurie and I hauling wood up the ramp it left the stokers to focus on calling the rhythm and monitoring the firebox.

This firing we were continuing the clay tests and a new glaze. Also experimenting with how the clay handled raw glazing – tricky when you have to slip first, dry a bit, wax, raw glaze and then wait to see if it’s too much for the clay, then decorate.

After 14 hours and a good squirt of soda all was well cooked. Unloading revealed some gorgeous pieces, some drippy glazes, some unexpected cracks (not in the raw glazed work) and interesting tests to work on for the next firing.