When you see a pot for sale on a stall or shop, you would never guess at the amount of work that went into it.
I turned up at my mate Tina’s house on Wednesday the 15th to help with firing her kiln and to put my pots in too. Three days later the kiln was packed, stacked and clammed ready to go on Saturday morning, I get bored with glazing, so this for me was very trying.
Tina’s husband Graham and I made a contract to be at the kiln with paper ,sticks and matches at 5 am, it was still dark and the Nightingale that he had heard singing in the dark was being drowned out by a very busy dawn chorus. Over the three days I had spotted quite a number of migrants,warblers and two swallows.
We lit one firebox and with smoke,flames and heat the kiln was off and burning. We started gently with large short logs slowly giving of background heat. We used large logs until the other firebox was lit, then we used the long timber from pallets that I had dismantled. All that effort unpicking them paid off and better than going to landfill.
The day started to warm up and soon it all became very pleasant in the sun, without too much effort the temperature began to climb as Tina orchestrated the stoking symphony it rose to a crescendo at about 10.30.
We finished on a reduction with loads of thin plum tree prunings stuffed into the fire boxes, big crackle and pop. Then the panic of clamming up quickly to conserve the heat and slow the cool.
I can’t remember going to sleep, after an eighteen hour day I zonked out.
Scroll forward to the following Saturday, after an agonising wait mainly because we all had to be there for the grand opening to say oooo ahh and ruddy hell. It was worth the wait and on the whole we were all very pleased, no major breakages or mistakes .We spent much time thanking the kiln gods and even
more time taking stock and making notes about where, what why and next time.
The next time for the kiln will be in September.