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wood firing #15 and toys

updated fri 5 oct 01


Merrie Boerner on tue 2 oct 01

Hello Friends,
Last weekend 14 potters fired my kiln for 35 hours. Newman and I thought
we would "fire from the hip" and not use the pyrometer this be
more aware of the atmosphere of the kiln, the smoke and flame, ....Chevy
Chase's golf technique... "Be the ball."... type of thing in the Caddy Shack
movie. We liked it. Nobody was yelling out numbers or pressuring us to
stoke...we stoked when we felt the kiln needed it according to fuel, smoke
and flame. Mellow....laid back...."being the atmosphere".....BUT, at 12
midnight on the second night, already sleep deprived from the night before,
we struggled to get the temp even from side to side. The left side is always
a cone colder........ With no pyrometer to tell us if what we were doing was
bringing up the heat or not, we hit and missed until 4 AM....finally closing
her up from shear exhaustion/satisfaction. I really think it will be a good
firing (because I have peeked into the spy holes and see great flashing
color and drippy ash) but I feel sorry that we had to stay up all night
working when we usually have a chance to relax and celebrate at the end of a
firing. Sunday morning we decided that maybe I should buy a pyrometer for
each of the 6 spy holes before the next firing : )
On my birthday/Father's Day firing in June, my hubby and I gave
eachother a chainsaw. I have never personally used her, but she makes me as
happy as any birthday present I've ever received. She was working so smooth
and hard last weekend that we decided to give her a name. After much
discussion and laughter about suggestions, we agreed on "Lucille" after BB
King's guitar.....we love her. (I recommend BB's CD "Duces Wild", where he
plays with all sorts of musicians from Tracy Chapman to Willie Nelson.)
We also had a rented log splitter. I mean, it was a work horse ! Any
potter who took a turn would become so addicted that they would not give up
their spot until their back gave out ! You could put a log under that thing
and split it from a 20 inch diameter into 8 wedges or 16 sticks, according
to what we tool ! I didn't feel compelled to play with that
toy, (not needing another addiction) so I told my "slaves" to take over : )
At my birthday firing, we all had water pistols to play with. This
firing there were two plastic Halloween skeletons that kept showing up in
someone's bed, or on the couch, or on the back porch bench......they were a
wild and crazy couple ! It was really nice to laugh and be goofy
again....good medicine !
The flame was awesome...the music great....the toys were
special.....but, what makes the whole thing unbelievably remarkable is the
people ! GREAT GROUP ! Thanks to all of you Susan, Harriet, Allen, Juliet,
Newman, Jamie, Jamison, John B., John G., Celeste, Camille, Geezy,
Holly.....(in no particular order)
So, it is only Tuesday morning, and I have walked down to the kiln to
peek about 7 times since the group left.....this is soooooo frustrating
because we won't unload until Saturday ! I reached into a spy hole and
pulled out a teabowl yesterday. .....beautiful shino with temoku over in
places, turns shinny metallic with a clear beverage in it ; ) Cheers !
Merrie in Mississippi......finding it hard to trust people who talk funny
like Mel from MinnesOOOta ; )

Kenneth J. Nowicki on tue 2 oct 01


Wow... thanks for sharing such a wonderful firing experience with all of us!
Made my morning... and made me wish I was there! :::smiles:::

in Encino, CA (Soon to be Long Island, NY)

claybair on tue 2 oct 01

Great posting and sounds like a great firing.
Thanks Merrie I needed that!

Gayle Bair
Bainbridge Island, WA

Bev Lev on thu 4 oct 01

Hello Merrie

Sounds like you had one awesome firing and one awesome great time!!!!
Hope cracking it open on Saturday is a celebration. Looking forward to
hearing more....

just a bit envious