Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Anagama Firing Round 2

We have just concluded the second firing of our newly built Anagama kiln. Here is a recap of what happened and what we learned. Along with a few photos of course.

Our stacking strategy was a bit different this time around. We plugged up a couple air holes at the bottom of the interior back wall. We found this worked pretty well to distribute the flame exiting the ware chamber, which helped to even out the temperature. We stacked the back
pretty full and put our taller pieces in the front with open space above them to allow ash to travel to the back of the chamber.

Our plan for the firing was to go slow, we had no problem gaining temp in the first firing. Then we wanted to hold at about cone11 to get the pots nice and sticky and allow time for the ash to melt. We also tried to keep good reduction throughout the firing starting at cone 012.

We started with an overnight gas preheat and followed by 3 1/4 days of firing with pine and oak, which was a bit shorter than our plan. We did one last major stoke and then sealed it up with cone 12 bending in the front. With just 3 people pulling 8 hour shifts each day, we were a bit tired by the end of it.

We ended Thursday and opened Monday. It was hard to wait for that moment and admittedly,
we peaked.

Here is what we saw...

We learned a lot about our different clay bodies from this firing. Much of the work in the kiln was made using at least some of the native red clay dug on the property. This is one iron rich deposit! We got a lot of dark metallic purpleish brown coloring on the native clay pieces, even those with just a little native. We also found that the native on it's own is not great at catching ash. In the future it will need a little help.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Come join us at this year's Appomattox Railroad Festival. October 8th (8 am-5 pm) and 9th (12:00 am -5 pm.) We will be selling work from our second wood firing and will also have a throwing demonstration. Should be a great day, so come join us!

More info on the Historical Appomattox Railroad Festival can be found here