Baby it’s the last time

What with the end of the world and other cheerful things coming up, I decided to call time on the kiln at the bottom of my garden ( actually the fairies had threaten legal action if we didn’t stop). So I filled it up with pottery I had made with the special clay mixed to be fired at cone 5, high earthenware/low stoneware.

I ran out of pots to fill it up so asked my pottery friend Arlene ( New life ceramics ) to make some to fill the vacancies.  Eventually the kiln was ready to be fired.


In a month where there had been snow and day after day of rain where a stream ran in my garden, I picked a dry day luckily. After an overnight small flame warm up, it was about 6.30 and 290 centigrade  to start, that was a very good start. The early part of a gas/wood firing is very laid back, just turn up the burner.

At about 400 c, I stuck the second burner on, earlier than usual but better for an even firing , I watched as 4 months of rising damp steamed out of the chimney. Without any hassle or undue effort the temperature rose to about 700 c which is where I started with the timber.

As per usual the temperature stuck at about a thousand, but not really a problem as the carbon trapping starts about then, eventually the temperature got going again, the bottom left cones had gone over but I couldn’t see the top left. After an hour I decided to call it quits and firing was over.

Arlene couldn’t get to me until 4 days after clamming up, eventually we got to open it up, Arlene’s pots were very good, these were for her own use not to sell so it was a bit of a relief that they were good.


Now the show is over time to move on to the next performance, overall it had been a so so kiln, if I ever build another,  it will be to a different design.

About timbartell

I was born in a flat in Lambeth the name of which was, Wedgewood house,China walk estate.I'd forgotten this until recently,it dawned on me the significance of the names after I had become interested in pottery/ceramics.I think of myself as a potter in the most practical sense,making pots for people to use.I have never had any formal training,I took it up when the table tennis class was full.My first flat was in the same road as a pottery centre, Elmwood pottery, the best in London, 18 sessions a week and a real community. I love my craft and bore everyone with it, so am grabbing this chance to bore more people via this blog.There may be the odd interesting item, here's hoping.
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