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wet wood, woodfire, and the stars

updated wed 13 feb 02


Tony Ferguson on tue 12 feb 02

Dry wood is good. Wet wood burns much slower. Lots of steam. I remember a
firing during a major, major thunderstorm/rainstorm--it could have been a
steam engine there was so much steam coming out of everywhere. It was the
best firing ever! Every pot that came out of that kiln was beautiful and
nicely reduced--Bill Gossman & Minnetonka arts center came out and did that
workshop with me. Thought about putting a shelter over it. Nah. My kiln
is open to the heavens. I like to see the stars when I fire.

Thank you!

Tony Ferguson
Stoneware, Porcelain, Raku
Photographic, Web Site, & Marketing Services for Artists
315 N. Lake Ave
Apt 401
Duluth, MN 55806

----- Original Message -----
From: "karen terpstra"
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2002 4:55 AM
Subject: Re: the importance of cured wood

> Hi David,
> Your response made me grin. How easy it is to forget that all of our
> kilns are as different as night and day, fired for different results, as
> different as you and me...condsidering the gender difference. But
> granted there are commonalities---we are both tall. There are probably
> some commonalties with our kilns too---they both burn wood.
> But seriously, the oak up here takes 2 years at most to cure. Yawl down
> in Texas have dry air all year around for the most part, right? We have
> hot humid summers and cold wet winters. And, I'd like to compare the
> barometric pressure readings on our firing days. And, If I don't get
> the wood under a roof, it gets inches and inches of rain or piled under
> inches and inches of snow.
> I don't mind firing with wet wood. In fact, I agree, when the kiln is
> flying and you need to hold it back it's nice to throw in some wet wood.
> But, when the wood is not cured AND is wet, I have a problem. There is
> a big difference between uncured wood (we also call it green) and cured
> wood that is wet.
> I really don't have any idea about how many people bisque or not for the
> wood fires. I'm sure it depends on the type of kiln and how they want
> to fire for the effects they want. We do it because we want to bring the
> temperature up fast as we can and then soak for a period of time within
> 30-34 hours. We are after flash. So I think that depends on your kiln
> and firing schedule. My experience with an anagama was to sl-o-w-l-y
> bring the temp up for even temperature and that made it easy to put
> greenware in the back. but you know all this...
> And about sitting in a chair...When my stock pile of wood is good and
> cured you may come up and fire with us. I will sit in my chair with my
> cigar ;) and watch you stoke. Actually, if I don't force myself to
> relax during a firing, I get all riled up over every little thing....not
> a pretty sight.
> Happy firings
> Karen Terpstra
> La Crosse, WI
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