I have finished dinner and am sitting down to see what has gone on in the world today. My day consisting of rising at 4:20 and getting to the studio by 5:15. Joan had gotten there at 5 and got us started. She had to leave for gallery duty at 9ish, leaving Lorraine and I to take us to the end.
It was a long day. We checked the kiln every 30 minutes, sometimes every 15 as we went through body reduction and as we closed in on our goal of Cone 10. (I apologize to all my non-potter followers for my use of technical terms, but just too tired to explain them or find links at the moment. Suffice to say these are critical junctures in the firing process.) In between checking temperature and cones and making adjustments to gas and air, I threw some pots. Nine pitchers in all.
After a while, there was a nice rhythm: center the clay, achieve desired height, check the kiln, come back to the wheel, shape and alter, remove from wheel, center clay, check the kiln, repeat. But by 3pm, I couldn’t touch clay anymore. My mental and physical acuity was waning. Good thing the gas was to full tilt and further adjustments weren’t necessary. The last two hours seemed to drag on forever. But every time we returned to kiln I was amazed to see the flame, especially when the coppers started flashing, creating a beautiful green flame. It is an awesome process, in which gain respect for the fact that potters have been doing this in some form for thousands of years.
One never knows if the firing was good until you open the kiln. But all signs are that this should be good. We had a good steady climb and never lost it (stagnate or reversing temperature). Reduction appeared moderate. When we shut the kiln down and closed it down after clearing, we had lots of high fives and happy dances. I am glad to be home, sated on food and firing. Now to do this all over again next week in Baltimore.
p.s. sorry no pics, but I will post the kiln opening, as well as next week’s wood firing which has a lot more action.