Saturday, November 14, 2009

Firing IV.

The firing was ok, not good or great but ok. I reduced the kiln too much and ended up with a lot of brown pots which are perfectly salable but not at all what I wanted. That being said there were a few pots that were exceptionally nice. I went into this firing with a bit of apprehension because the last firing I had was pretty much a perfect firing...I had discovered magic and didn't know if I could do it again. I like to think I know a lot but really I'm still a newbie to this whole wood firing thing and probably it is a set of skills that can never be truly mastered(that's probably why I like it so much.) I often times set expectations far too high for myself and then get angry when I can't reach them. I'm bummed about the color on the pots but I'm certainly happy and excited to have what I consider to be another successful firing under my belt.

When I get bummed about firing results I like to think about firing #3 in my first wood kiln...I opened the door to what looked like a good firing and discovered I'd made an error too foolish to mention and had about a 75% failure rate. This firing had less than a 5% failure rate which is pretty darn good. The pots are ok and will eventually sell and I'll go on and make more and there will be good firings and bad ones and the cycle will repeat ad nauseam until I die. I'd better get used to it.

The top of the front stack...this area and the flu stack were the nicest.

Bleh...brown pots.

I had a shelf come off one of the props and I have no idea how that happened. The only thing holding this up was that it was stuck to the other two props...must've happened late in the firing. I only lost the two yunomi and the lidded jar...a bit of a serendipitous disaster.

The student and the master...sometimes it's good to be reminded which one I am.

Here are 2 pieces of advice; 1: Keep a clear firing log. 2: If you haven't fired your kiln is six months think logically about your poorly written observations. "2/3" under the damper column is not very informative, though it may seem logical at the time. Anyone who has fired any type of fuel kiln can tell you that firing with the damper 2/3 in is going to give you a strong reduction. Why did I not consider this? I was probably too busy thinking about how I've got this wood firing thing down. Duh- 2/3 out or 1/3 in, you friggin dingleberry.

I'll post more photos when I get a chance.



cookingwithgas said...

Just when you think you have it all figured out- ping- the big finger in the sky will give you a knock in the head.
It's like that.
But get those pots away from one another pull some out and take them to the house.
Take a look without the mass so to speak and you will see they stand well on their own.
I see that with our pots.
The over all picture is sometimes too much.
Getting the pots away from one another gives me the time to see that pot.
Here's to a good season for you.

Tracey Broome said...

I agree with Meredith. When I looked at the overall photo it was just a bunch of brown, but when I started looking at each pot I saw some wonderful individual pieces, lots of them. Anyway some of us out here really like brow pots! I think it all looks good. They will look so great when you have them cleaned up and displayed nicely. No worries.....
my word verification is natersuc, haha!

Tracey Broome said...

brown....... :)

Ron said...

Yep I agree w. Meredith too. How did the upside down plates come out? Any good flashing underneath?

jbf said...

Sorry you're not happy with the firing, but I agree with my predecessors that they look good on their own. I've had some thin-shino firings on iron-rich clay that have been completely brown, too. They grow on you.

BTW, I like your choice of beverage.

Hollis Engley said...

Not to just parrot everyone else's comments, but ... yep. Put those brown pots among the other ones in shows and displays and they'll be just fine.

cindy shake said...

All your beautiful pots are just reflecting the color of the Season, mmmm, warm browns, fresh bread just pulled from the oven, buckwheat, Café au lait, nutmeg, cinnamon, fallen maple leaves, maple syrup, cinnamon rolls, brown sugar and the warmth felt from the fire. Just look at them all individually and their beauty will grow on you :o)

doug fudge said...

i see those shiner bocks!

Collin said...

that jar you've got in your hands has some nice color on it. Doesn't look like a total wash to me.

brandon phillips said...

as i've gotten older i've realized that you can't unload a kiln without a good beer.

the firing certainly wasn't a wash...the pots are fine. i'm just way too critical.

rwhendrix said...

Im just a newbe to the pottery world, But your work looks good to me. I still make far more mistakes than happy endings in my firings.
I am trying to tame my reduction too. Had some stuff go from a red to near black in reduction.
Look foward to working up to your quality of work one day. I like your posts. Can learn from them.