Welcome to my blog. I will attempt to make it much more than just a pitiful list of the relentlessly mundane minutiae of my daily existence but if you feel that I have failed try to imagine all the stuff that I haven't posted.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Oh dear.....

....it's all been too much for these rough bowls. Cone 6 was just a step too far, which is a shame as the Oxford clay based glazed is stunning.
This was attempt number...oh I've lost count...trying to get something glazed made entirely from materials I collected at the Bronze Age dig at Must Farm in Cambridgeshire. The body was based on a new seam of Neolithic era deposited river clay that had responded well in testing. Aaah well. Time to get the angle grinder out.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Quick snaps

Here are a couple of quick outdoor photos of pots from the firing.
This first is a little beauty from the front of the firebox, on the floor. It's glaze is based on Dartmoor granite but it has been heavily influenced by ash during the firing. It has a wonderful range of colours including a satin aqua.
The second is a piece from the shelf above, fired on its side with exposed clay and heavy glaze runs.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

It's a good one!

Heart racing + adrenalin coursing through my system I unbricked the firebox and side door.... and slowly and carefully unpacked.
This is a view through the firebox to the front stack. Each piece in the kiln is listed on a map and has to be coded as it is removed so that I know where it is from (what materials it is made from). I'm still going through the pots and there is a lot of grinding to do before I can take good photos but - it was an excellent firing with some real racers in there!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Cones down, beers drunk

The firing finished yesterday, was suitably toasted with Fullers ESB and is now still glowing red hot inside my lovely kiln. Thanks to Andy for his help and stirling night shift work.
I do love the firing process but this one was particularly pleasurable. It can be a bit of a struggle to get the kiln going on the second morning, after a long quiet gentle stoking night, to get the firebox crackling again. But this time was a dream. When I woke Andy had kept the temperature steady and built up a huge bed of embers that were cascading all over the front of the pack. I opened up the grate, closed down the primary air and burnt down the ember bed - a nice easy job that gave plenty of time to make tea. As they burnt down the temperature rose and the cones started gently melting on the front shelf.
The rest of the firing was a gentle climb to top temperature with only relatively subtle changes in the kiln settings. Cone 12's down throughout, which equates to a cone 10 or 1280C. Four days of cooling and imagining and anticipation.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

All set

The kiln is packed and the wood is split and stacked. Kettle, radio, ipod and food all in place. Celebratory post-firing beer waiting in the wings.
The fire will be lit first thing + Andy is over later to help out. Fingers crossed for no rain!