Christopher Greenman on mon 22 nov 99
Juat got back from Lowell Baker's Boury Box w/Sawdust Burner kiln firing in
Tuscaloosa. I think it was the best firing yet. Lots of nice
variations,,,,,,,lots of "hey ...nice ash!!" and lots of nice glows on
potters faces. We raised the temprature up with wood throughout the
night....mostly it was Ms. Merrie and her 3-6 am shift that went from ^5-^10
that really got the heat going......think she had to much
coffee........actually we worked quite a bit to hold heat .....the kiln just
wanted to raise quickly......loose stack in first chamber....we soaked the
first chamber with the sawdust burner starting about 9-12 ..? then moved to
the second chamber with the burner.....it did rain hard during the 3-6
shift.....maybe we watered the kiln????
Test mice which were made of B-mix showed little ash build up......really
were no indication of ash deposits that we got.....we did get worried and
blew some ash into the first chamber.
We had some first timers that became converts after this firing ...lots of
good sharing.... the firing of his kiln is getting to be a real event......I
can't wait till the Alabama Clay conference ( see Lowell's recent post).....
Thanks to Lowell at U of A.
Thanks to Sara who put up some tired woodfirers (she only had one pot in the
firing). Ms. Merrie from Hogchain "Mother" groundhog kiln, Melanie from Ms.
who had some problems with shivering but still had some great
pots....funky... C.J. from Ms. who is beginning to get really hooked into
the woodfire experience....Celeste from ASU continuing ed..her second time
woodfiring........nice ash!.....Naoko and Yumi two Japanese students in the
ASU cont. ed. sharing their first wood fire with great results....Cappelli
from ASU. Greenman from ASU. and their students Kathy and
Monique...........all left with smiles on their faces............good time
Now to soak in the after glow..........
Alabama State University
............it possible to put a piece in ash backwards...it works!
Merrie Boerner on tue 23 nov 99
"You get great ash in Alabama !"
Once again I "hauled ash" over to Tuscaloosa with a van full of glazed
pots. I had prepared several glaze tests and a pecan ash glaze, applied
them to pots in a variety of combinations, wrapped them in drycleaner's
plastic and bubble wrap.....and took off in the big red van. We began
stacking at about 11 AM Friday.... I instructed Cappelli to put my Chinese
figurines in facing away from the flame...hence "ash backwards" became a
stacking giggle....I had sprayed a blue wash on two pieces of bisque and
then put shino on top of one and celedon on top of the other ....this was
the typical lesson in "less is better"....the blue was too wild for most of
us there....we enjoyed the more subtle surprises of color....the
shinos...the flashing......the pooling and dripping........the variety of
form and style was a pleasure !
I took two three hour stoking shifts back to back..... 3AM to 6 with
Lowell....it rained cats and dogs ! Then, CJ arrived with fresh
coffee....and, it is true....between 6 and 9...I did raise the temp from
cone 5 to 10....what can I say ?!? The rain stopped, we used sticks
instead of boards, I followed Lowell's instructions, .....maybe it WAS the
coffee : ) MAYBE I did everything RIGHT, and the guys just like to tease
me !!! They worried that we might not be getting enough ash...so we tried
to even out the temp and hold her back for a few hours. The firing turned
out to be "the best one EVER"....but don't they ALL !!!
Well, I could go on and on about how much fun we had and how everyone
worked (and played) so well together, and about how great Lowell and his
kiln are, and about how I entertained the group with stories of my
encounters with Mel, Kurt, and Nils at the International Woodfiring Conf.
in Iowa....but, I must go prepare for another cone 6 electric firing. I'm
gettin ready for my most profitable show of the year in Jackson, MS next
weekend.....and if they don't like shino...."They can kiss my ash !"
Til next time, Merrie