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low pressure/wood kilns/la crosse weather

updated sat 7 jun 03


Karen Terpstra on fri 6 jun 03

Hi Tony,
Rain, sleet, snow, dawn, dusk, and all that does affect the firings.
You gave us a good reminder to be aware of low pressure stalling a kiln.

When I was first learning to fire, I was so impatient with the weather
and stalling it drove me nuts.couldn't enjoy the firing. Took me a long
time to understand weather systems and the effect on the draught.had to
work through every weather system imaginable to learn it. Still
learning. I can't drink beer on campus with this wood kiln but it sure
is nice that I can finally relax during a "stall", sit back, have the
students throw in a few logs every few minutes while we try to solve the
problems of the world, enjoy the music, food, or whatever.

Now the only time I can't relax is during a tornado watch. We've
experienced that. Fortunately it was not a warning. Concentration and
relaxation went all to hell. We just stoked and listened to the weather
station while a couple students were assigned "tornado lookout" duty.

I'm looking forward to next week's conference here. It will be fun
watching the kiln being fired by a great crew and all the helpers. I'll
have a barometric pressure gauge here for all the folks not used to the
crazy jumps in pressure here. Sometimes it's a bigger help than the
pyrometer. In fact, I kept the pyrometer hidden in my office during the
last firing and I think students learned much more about what was going
on than with it. Location has something to do with the pressure/stall
too I think.close to the Mississippi River, surrounded by bluffs, the
kiln stuck between high walls and a building. Never know what to expect

It's rainy this weekend so we should have mild 70 degree weather during
the day, 50's at night during the conference.but like I said you never
know. Merrie Boerner informed us that we will experience a full moon
during the firing. that's a scary thought.

See some of you soon!

Karen Terpstra
La Crosse, WI

Ps. Tony, we have permission for "adult beverages" during evening hours
of the conference. If it's going to rain.hope it does then. We will
toast to you and your relaxation method.

Tony wrote:
".All was going well with my new
> train with arch and additional peeps for sidestoking, 9 soft and in
> full blown thunder and lightning storm complete with pissing down
> that these severe low pressure systems can choke a wood kiln for their
> duration so I went to get help from a higher order. I bought 6 cans
> Coors Light in cans. No laughing Arti and Craig I needed help from
> Rocky Mtn glacier. We backed the pickup to the kiln, listened to tunes
> drank the beer and got out to stoke every 3-4 minutes. Three hours
> the beer was gone, the storm blew over and we put 10 down in a puddle.
> So Taylor the moral of the story is expect the unexpected and take
> to the firing."