Friday, August 29, 2008

Ready for a Saturday firing

You'd think that loading a 17 c.f. kiln wouldn't take three days. Or even two. But it usually does. The longest time seems to be spent on the lowest layer of pots, two 12x24 shelves with nine inches of space before you get to the second layer. Lots of pots on those two shelves.
I finished glazing and loading today at about 2 p.m., just about fitting the big jars between the top shelf and the kiln's fiber ceiling. I didn't count the pots that went in, but there are usually about 90, from small faceted dishes to big jars or vases. There are two different shino glazes on some of these pots, an ash glaze recipe from Phil Rogers' book (tweaked a bit with extra Grolleg to keep it from running), a Pete Pinnell copper red, a Rob's Green, a Hamada temmoku.
With a museum show submission deadline this coming Wednesday and a show at Libertytown in Fredericksburg VA in October, many of these pots will be held back from the gallery. With luck, that is. I never know until I open the door the day after firing.
Anyone looking closely at this photograph will see that a plate on the left side of the fourth shelf up has tipped on its wads. I caught that as I was loading the photo for the blog entry and went out and set it down so that it wouldn't weld to the shelf above it. Don't know how that happened.
I'll start the natural gas burners on low tonight before going to bed. Then I'll get up at 5 and turn them up, get up again at 6 and turn them up again and then one more time at 7 or so. The past few firings have been over around noon, when cone 10 is down and cone 11 is tipping over. The work cools about 12 hours and I usually open at 11 the next day. Sometimes with help, sometimes not.

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