Paul Herman on sat 19 oct 02
Greeting to all,
Only one more day of glazing, then we start the loading tomorrow. At
last count I had 96 boards of pottery down in the shop. That will fill
about half of the kiln. The firing crew have to fill the other half.
Maybe I'll make it to a hundred next firing.
The cones are set up, all 52 of them, to be seen through 8 different
peepholes. I'm aiming to get 13 down in front, and 11 everywhere else.
We're also going to scatter a few more around the chamber as witness
cones, to check on the heat distribution in the corners.
This is firing #6, and each time we get a little closer to "good". I
don't expect to ever really get there, but maybe close. One of the
missions this time is to get the front and back to come up to peak
temperature at the same time. We haven't been able to do this yet, but
each firing we get closer. Last time, when we stopped stoking the main
firemouth, cone 7 was starting to bend in the very back of the anagama
chamber. Then we side stoked for a couple of hours to finish it before
moving uphill to the salt.
The whole thing is one hell of a lot of work, but I'm enjoying it. New
territory, out there. I had been gas firing for 25 years, and was in a
rut. It's important to keep taking risks, I think, and to let yourself
to be led on by the materials and process.
Woodfiring can be humbling, and you come to realise that you are working
with forces that can't really be controlled all that much. At best it's
a collaboration. At worst your work (and you) get ravaged. Speaking of
forces that can't be controlled, how about the firing crew? Just
kidding. They're great, they've been bringing more wood.
Great Basin Pottery
423-725 Scott Road
Doyle, California 96109 US