Monday, December 20, 2010

Post Unloading Juniata's Anagama Thoughts

As I said before the images below were taken mainly by my dad over the course of a week-ish. He used a point-and-shoot digital camera so there are more than a few "motion action shots." Overall the firing was a complete success. There were very few "bad" pots but we did/ I did manage to stack the front of the kiln using only one brick to support two very heavy 32"x24" shelves. Needless to say there were some weight + heat-over-time happenings.

We did get the kiln to temperature and developed a solid holding pattern that allowed us to reach cone 13 (2400 F or 1310 C). We also had the front of the kiln open for just about the entire firing which let radiant heat from our front ember mass (coals that are used to maintain temp. in the firebox of the anagama) help to get our desired temperature in the back of the kiln.
For the record Jared and Nick came on shift as I was fading around 10am Monday morning and they stoked the middle and back of the kiln till a little after Simon Leach's Youtube video was shot at 3pm in the afternoon. The cones in the middle door section had cone 12 (2350 F) down and in the back Jared managed to flatten cone 13 (no easy task).

Our goal was to get it hot and melt the ash on our pots (as the firing before this one there were many crusty grey pots) and we did just that. Many beautiful things came out of this firing and I think everyone got at least one great piece. Expect to see examples of my pots as soon as I get my home photo set-up set up. Maybe I'll even post images of some of the other peoples work i.e. Nick, Jared, and my Dad. Who knows.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Post Kurt's kiln info

To sum up the firing in Boiling Springs PA with Kurt. We fired the kiln with hard wood to 2400 degrees Fahrenheit over a Three day period in August. All in all the kiln fires very well (this firing was pretty much the first firing that we were able to fire the way we did) for a maiden voyage. There were some hiccups as illustrated in the text below. At the height in temp and the end of the firing we performed a 'hikidashi' style removal of wares from a central shelf through an opening in the middle of the door I prepared ahead of time with this in mind. Hikidashi involves removing wares to check the clay and glazing at different points during the firing. Sort of a elaborate set of draw rings. We also salted heavily after each piece was pulled. There were about 9 pieces removed.

You can see parts of this process documented in the set of pictures below this entry.

On a current affairs note. Jared, Kurt, Nick, myself, and the vast majority of the students partaking in the Fall 2010 Juniata College Ceramics program fired the anagama on campus just a few days ago. We loaded on the 15th of this month. Unloading should be sometime at the beginning of this week... It seemed to have gone very smoothly. I will try and document the unloading and I have a few images of the firing taken by myself and my Dad, there may be others. Expect these to be posted as soon as I possibly can.

Simon Leach has a tiny youtube video of the very end of the firing. I left at 10am that morning after working two shifts and hanging out kiln side since 3pm the previous day. He showed up in the afternoon the final day. Jared and Nick have cameos in the video. They are finishing up sidestoking the very back of the kiln. I'll give specifics on how we fired and how it finished up later. Anyway check it out.

Kurt's firing August 2010... more images continued again.