10 November 2008

Arts and Crafts 3

The kiln gods were in a fine mood yesterday. The weather was perfect, we got to temperature, and we didn't hear any pops or crashes from within. There really isn't much to say, other than that my hands are a little achy. I noticed that there is a lot of gripping and holding on to things. Granted, I don't wear gloves for the most part, but even still I don't think that would help. One of the women I fired with said I was trying to be macho, but I like to think that I am not a slave to gender stereotypes.
-Oh yeah, we were mentioned in someone's blog the other day and again were referenced as "two ladies." I really don't mind (hell, I've been living with it all my life), but I do feel kind of bad that some lesbian garden fantasies may be shattered when they discover I pee standing up. Oh well.

Back to the kiln.

The first visual signs of heat.

The first blast of body reduction.

What's happening here is that the air is being choked from the kiln, which creates a high-carbon atmosphere. The carbon richness is what will get the clay body brown and toasty.

As we gained higher temperatures, the flames would lick out of the peep hole for oxygen. You can also see how the bricked door is sealed with newspaper covered in slip.

Red heat

The flames reach through the chimney.

The flames from the fire box don't simply fill the kiln with a giant ball of fire; what they do is snake through the pots. I could try to explain how this is done, but it would take a while and I'm sure that I would butcher it. However, the flame that is spurting from the chimney is probably well over 60 feet long. At this point someone will call stokes when the flame pulls into the kiln and that signals to whomever is at the firebox to add more wood.

The stokes are called until temperature is reached.

I think it was around this time that we started drinking. We had a damn good crew.

I'll be heading back to the studio on Friday and I will give you an update then on how the pots turned out.


meg's mom said...

I really appreciate this explanation since I don't know anything about this - it's fascinating - thanks for explaining, lady(?)

Linda Lunda said...

Wow... hope to se the result of this ...

warren said...

Drinking...and pot...s, yeah pots. Sounds like quite a time you had there! Very cool pics of the whole thing!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Those are some impressive pictures.

I'm trying to decide what kind of lesbian garden fantasies there could be. I probably don't want to go down that path, though...