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Success despite soaking rain


I was sure this wood fire would be canceled; the day before we had an intense rain and wind storm that lingered into the next morning. Even the wood under the roof was soaked by the driving rain, but Yary implemented some new techniques and this turned out to be the best firing ever!

The fire was lit in the lower firebox to warm up the kiln to 350 degrees F, then a shovel full of burning wood was transferred to the top box. As the crew stoked the fire, Yary directed them to stacked the wood in alternate directions much like you see it above. This was made possible by opening all the oxygen portals on the side of the firebox, and stoking alternately from the side and front door.

The crew stacked the wood into a high pile within the box. This allowed the wood at the top of the pile to dry out a bit while the wood at the bottom burned efficiently in a highly oxygenating fire. No smoke rose up the chimney.

Above are the side oxygen portals closed up.


Inside the kiln, small changes made before loading, allowed the heat to move evenly through out the fire box.  One of these changes was to open up the bag wall at the top front by removing a few bricks.

Extra care was taken to leave a margin of space around the walls and not tightly pack the kiln. Improved circulation resulted in cone 10 heat in all corners of the kiln. Note the slumped cones on the shelf above.

The crew sealed up every possible air leak with an extra layer or two in order to block any wind infiltration. The pyrometer was mudded in without its protective shield and Yary was delighted when it finally registered 2354 degrees. In the past it has been unreliable past 2000.

After allowing the kiln to cool down for three days, two students helped Yary to unload the kiln.  They discovered wonderful and surprising color transformations on the fired wares. The heat turned the copper red glaze on this piece to a stunning red on one side and along the bottom.

Above is the same bowl seen from the top! The color on the carving around the shoulders is soley from the wood fire, no glaze; it shows off the detail crisply.


 This is the same bowl shown outside then inside.Bright brown was the outside glaze, baby blue celadon on the inside.

Baby blue celadon, flame blue and purple surprise glazes were used on this tea pot.

This firing had an amazing 100% success rate. There were no wasters, pieces stuck to a shelf, slumped from too much heat, nor cold spots in the kiln that left glazes untransformed.

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Posted: Sunday, November 02, 2014 9:02 PM by rackm


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