19 September 2011

Firing 21

Firing 21
5am first sign of dawn. Cloudy but dry with south westerly breezes. Discovered I am very low on gas for the initial warm up. Stupid oversight, hope the local shop has a bottle in store as I have a lot of raku firing to do too - not today though. (When I started rakuing 15 years ago a 19kg bottle of propane cost £11 today it cost £38). Awake again at 7 and the gas has lasted, kiln at about 100 C. Turn gas up and back in to make tea only to find Non Potting Partner has already made it (all previous complaints withdrawn).
Start to feed wood in around 8 o'clock and continue with both until 9.30. Turn the gas off expecting quiet to descend only to hear the rumble of the forest being felled (mustn't complain it's community owned now and I'm thinking of all that scrap wood to be gleaned) and then NPP starts up the mower to cut the lawn.
A few spots of rain, a crunchy James Grieve apple fresh from the tree and into the rhythm of stoking, concentrating now to avoid losing temperature. The last few firings have followed a very close pattern, apart from the previous one fired in a south westerly gale and an hour faster.

More tests in this kiln. Trying to find a white shino type glaze which gives results with this firing cycle. I have a rather drab white which matures but is dull, and a lovelier snowy white one maturing at cone 10 which I struggle to achieve. There are also tests with the new Scarva black body which has been firing very black but very dry and needs a little sheen or sparkle to liven it up a bit. Plus, of course more pieces for Philadelphia.

1000 C at 12.40
1100 C at  2pm
1200 C at  6.30pm