Thursday, August 16, 2007

Slow train to China


I have to fire my train off before I head for China. Ho-Lee-chow time has flown by and it's 88degrees F in the shade. We need a few pots for some fall invitational exhibitions and I'll be in China till just before Christmas.
I have very few pots in this firing so I hope the kiln devil is kind. We have to try and slow this train down since the last firing went toooooooo fast and we didn't put much surface on the clay. 24 hour firings are snack time in a train but I have found that under 32 hours doesn't give enuff surface for the aesthetic that I am lusting for- crusty as a bear's arse. I try to hide Sheila's boxes behind my things so that the ash doesn't seal the lids shut. The pounding of the ash has been known to absolutely seal the gallery of the box. Sometimes I even put up a small bag wall of a firebrick soap to protect that gallery from ash.
We have both used a high iron clay for this firing thinking about doing a reduction cool. I'm going to fire for 32 hours and keep it under Cone 9. At the end of the firing we will fill the firebox up to the armpits with cherry and plum wood. I have found these two woods to really make a lot of coals. The plan is to have my pots near the front cool in reduction and Sheila's pots near the back will be more prone to a oxidation cool. It's all just theory at this point. The proof will be in the puddin'.
I just got up from a nap, so I'm out the door to spend the night with the owls and the coyotes. At first light I'll see Dr. Pumpkin out in his garden watering. It is as dry here as a popcorn fart. Here is a pic of some jars that are in the fire as I write this. It's Sheila's shift and I'm killing time before I put in my overnight.

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