Friday, August 24, 2007

Shiny Brown Dawg




It's taken me a few days to eat my large portion of humble pie. The results from the last train kiln are in and they are brown. There is only one colour worse than brown from a kiln and that is shiny brown. I tried to fire so that we'd both be happy and we both came out with frowns. Besides brown every single one of my jars cracked so I can't even give them away. I have one cooling in the gas kiln right now, so we'll see if it is the thrower, the clay or the firing. I had tried to get some reduction in cooling at the front of the kiln by not committing time stoking on the way down and just filling up the firebox with coaling wood. I ain't gonna do that again! We have to fill the kiln with Sheila's stuff, fire hot and a quick crash cool at the end for those oranges she likes. We then have to fire a load for me keeping the temperature under Cone 9 and stoking on the way down for a reduction cool. It's the drab colour palette I'm lusting for.
One thing I have noticed is that the previous reduction cool I did in the kiln played hell with my soft brick arch. The hot face of the brick peeled off in 1/8 inch thick waffers. It would seem to me the reduction not only weakens pots, it weakens bricks. The arch had been as good a new up until that firing.
I usually have a bad firing just before Christmas. The last firing of the season always seems to present me with some dawgs. I figure it is so I don't go into the next year feeling cocky. Well, I'm off to China 2 weeks today and there ain't nuthin' I can do but think about my wood kiln till 2008.
Last firing I sent Dan Murphy at USU a disk of images, firing schedule, clay bodies used etc, etc. I didn't want him to think all I was doing this summer is making a living. I think this firing got eaten by the neighour's shiny brown dawg.

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