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Firing the Kiln

Second Firing, Page 1
First week of April, 2003

yakishime ready for the anagama Here, Andrea is handing me pieces while I load the kiln. Note that the reddish pieces aren't glazed - I've been testing different clay bodies and they are just redder bodies. Some of the porcelain pieces were slip painted - I decided to try out some oxide slips because the plain porcelain comes out stark white.

For the second firing, we had a much better crew situation. Three people at the site all the time with a few others putting in 8 hr shifts. I'm sad to say, I didn't hear anywhere near as much singing this time, nor did I have any vivid visions between stokes as I did on the last day of the first firing.

loading the kiln, some pottery has oxides, otherwise yakishime The inside looks quite different - the bricks have a coating of glaze now.

anagama fully loaded with pottery Loading is very close to being finished here. It took about 8 hours.

the door to the anagama is bricked in and sealed with clay Then the door was bricked in leaving upper and lower firemouths. This took about 15 minutes I think.

preheating the anagama with propane raku burner I ran the gas burners for two days. These are 30 lb tanks - on high, they hold out for about 8 hrs before freezing, on low, they last in excess of 12 hrs. I had to refill both tanks one time, but I only used half the gas on the refills. That left me tanks for running the lanterns, stove, and grill once we switched to wood. The burner is a 115k BTU raku burner. The burner is resting on a spare 12x24 tile brick.

wood stoking of the anagama starts slowly Andrea taking a shift. Andrea is studying to be a professional potter.

stoking the anagama all night in midwinter is cold Nobody can resist s'mores, and the lower firemouth (air inlet) makes a great toasting oven.

stoking firewood into the anagama Throwing wood into the kiln at night.

stoking firewood into the anagama

stoking firewood into the anagama

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