30 April 2012

Rebuild continued

It's not pretty but it survived the night of wind and rain.

Rebuilding the anagama

 None of the four of us has done this before. I've built my boxy unmortared little kiln, Jan is planning an anagama, Rob is an engineer (mostly of software ! ) and Julia has a building company. In other words lots of theory but no experience. 
It looked worse than I had remembered. Not just the general air of abandonment which an unused kiln seems to have but the very real state of imminent collapse of the front arch. We quickly droped our optimistic hope of jacking up a former under the arch and it all settling neatly back into place.

The arch came down, at least that bit was easy. 
Making the former was relatively easy (Rob did it).  Inserting it into the space left by the arch without pushing over the arch supports was awkward. Working out how to tie the front arch brickwork to the rear arch brick work .... We didn't work it out, or tie it in, but they are wedged together firmly and the second layer of bricks is covering the gaps. 

Last arch bricks coming out, former in place, looks a bit small to me 

Patricia Shone

29 April 2012

Rebuilding the anagama at Higham Hall

Here' the front arch going back up. Looking a lot prettier than this morning. You can see how the rear arch has slumped too.

19 April 2012

Firing 24 continued

Turned out to be a good firing.
Light north easterly breeze, frost and a crescent moon rising at 5 in the morning. Sunshine most of the day and only a little snow first thing!
Slow fire through 900ºC as there was one raw platter to consider then a gradual and steady rise in temperature without any stalling.
First soda in at 1130º after 10 hours (250g soda)
Cone 7 bending at 1199º after 12 hours
Cone 8 bending at 1220º after 13 hours
and cone 9 going down after 14 hours.
I finished the firing at 7.45 just short of 15 hours having reached a top temperature of 1255ºC and cone 10 nicely down.

I wonder why this firing was so smooth. Perhaps the weather direction, no gusts of cold air around the kiln. Perhaps I was more relaxed with it being a last minute decision and not too concerned about the contents. It followed the same pattern as firing 23 even to the exact same temperature of 1130º after 10 hours, but the previous firing seemed to stall later on and it was a struggle to get cone 9 down.

photos of the results to follow

15 April 2012

Firing 24

A last minute decision to fire after realising how few weeks there are before the summer exhibition and markets season kicks off. My support team goes back to work in a couple of days and it's always better firing with a regular supply of tea
and sandwiches. Plus there's a new puppy who needs constant tickles (no, there will be no puppy pictures, this is a potting blog). And yesterday morning we had to finish putting the skin on the poly tunnel before the weather changes back to it's windy norm. Given all that I don't quite know how I got a kiln load glazed and packed in time to fire today. It's a fairly loose and 'creative' pack. Several long platters which use up a lot of shelf space, some refires, test pieces and odds and ends. Potentially a waste of time and wood. However sitting here in the sunshine, watching the spring bloom amid the  occassional snow flurry I know it is worth it (always is). 

(Oh alright here's the puppy)

10 April 2012

Funding for a bigger kiln

Well it looks like this blog may continue as a kiln and firing blog for a while longer. I've been awarded funding from Creative Scotland and HI-Arts towards the building of a new and larger wood kiln.


Patricia Shone