Our second Woodfiring Workshop – Beyond the Basics also served as a training firing for two Waikato potters who will be helping in the future with firings in the Phoenix kiln at the Waikato Society of Potters. We all had pots in the kiln, but the emphasis on this firing was for the students to understand and undertake all the rolls with loading and firing a wood kiln; from picking pots, designing the stack, wadding, placement, wicketing-up, starting the fire, stoking to the log and adjusting the kiln dampers, ember air and stoking door, shutting the kiln down. As there was only two students there was also few distractions and lots of time to understand the whole firing.
The only hiccup was the country plunging into a COVID lockdown on the night before the kiln was due to be unloaded. However that didn’t stop me unloading the kiln as coincidentally, exhibition entries for two major competitions were due the same week and I needed to see if any of my work would be good enough to enter. There are some kiln maintenance tasks still to complete once the Waikato gets back to normal and the students can come and collect their work.