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Wood fire during Lowell Folk Festival

Abby stopped by with her mom and watched us load the kiln with dozens and dozens of creations made by local families working with master ceramist Yary Livan.

The series of weekend workshops was jointly sponsored with the Lowell National Historical Park and Middlesex Community College.

Animal sculptures and ocarinas were popular creations. Everyone's ocarina whistled successfully!

We glue wadding to the bottom of each and every piece to prevent them from sticking to the kiln shelves. The wadding is made of clay and grog, rolled into small spheres and glued with ordinary white glue.

It's like a big puzzle figuring out where to put all the pieces. We leave some space between the walls and the shelves so the heat can circulate. Some areas of the kiln are hotter than others, another thing to consider.

Yary's demonstration pots will get fired today too, along with MCC student artwork.

After loading, Yary bricks up the ware chamber door.  He will seal it with clay and newspaper to keep cold air from infiltrating.

Master Yary lights some incense and takes a moment to pray for a successful firing.

One last preparation includes inserting the pyrometer probe so we can monitor the temperature within.

The fire starts small in the lower fire box, this primes the kiln.

Later the fire is carried to the uppper box. The crew will be stoking this fire every few minutes for the next 10 hours.

After the small fire is moved up top, the crew must seal the lower openings. It's fun to slather on the wet clay.

You can see the results of this firing by visiting the Lowell National Historical Park's face book page: https://www.facebook.com/Lowell.NPSp

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Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 7:51 AM by rackm

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