Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Firing XIV

I fired off XIV this past Sunday and it was a very good firing.  I met a gal named Anna awhile back who studied ceramics and just graduated this last spring.  She has been doing some work for me from time to time and I decided to let her help me with this firing.  I've never had someone help me and I don't even allow people to come around while I'm firing, too much distraction.  It was nice to have someone who had no experience with wood firing, they have no idea what's going on and are there for the experience of it.  That makes for a much smoother firing.  A friend of mine told me that other potters can be the worst firing partners, backseat drivers and such.  A valid point, if someone were to try and commandeer my firing I'd boot their ass out.  Anna took some photos of the firing and I'll share a few of them here.

The first few hours of the firing can be fairly boring.  I leave a pile of these little blocks of wood to chop as it gives me something to occupy my time. 

Stoking. I'm wearing gloves so this must be sometime after cone 5, that's when the pull bricks start to get too hot for the hands.  Yeah, that's right no gloves, I'm a tough guy.

The coal bed, this is later in the firing, somewhere around cone 7 I think.

Blowholes.  I had that spyhole pulled because it was hot spot, sometimes pulling the spyhole can slow it down a bit.

Test ring.

Obligatory spyhole flame shot.

Good surfaces.  Very pleased with this firing.

This piece was an experiment.  Tile 6 slip over an ochre slip, ash glaze on top.  I am absolutely in love with this.  I'm bummed that I don't have more time before my ACC shows to do some more of this.  You can expect to see more of this type of work in the future.

Forgot to wad the bottom of a 15# jar.  F**king amateur hour.



gz said...

Having someone there to do the photography, to pass things when needed/asked is good.
Looks like a firing to be well pleased about!

Unknown said...

Great firing shots! I love your work and can't wait to see more of that new stuff :)

Lori Buff said...

Beautiful platter, you should do more of these. I like the wiggle wire bottom -it's what I do also, sans the wadding issue, stuff happens, don't sweat it.

Anonymous said...

man those trusses are awful close to that kiln, no?

brandon phillips said...

Haha, yeah, they're about 6 inches away. Not nearly as close to the blowholes as it looks though. The exterior can be touched with a bare hand at the peak of the firing. Plus they're steel, the whole barn is steel. The trusses are every 4 ft and the kiln is pretty tall so I had to run it between them like this, but all steel, good insulation, no worries.

Julia said...

What a beautiful kiln load of work! The photos are very cool - thanks for sharing them.

Dennis Allen said...

I've found that when firing wood kilns, every guy that comes to the kiln has to piss on it to mark his territory.No matter how well things are going the first thing after they show up they want to change something. More damper, less damper, bigger wood ,smaller wood, rake the coals . It's always something.Help is a great thing but you need to have a dictatorship not a democracy.