A couple of pots

Here are a couple of pots from the first firing of the wood kiln. The first is one of the katakuchi that was glazed with madara (rice straw ash glaze). It went at the rear of the front stack on the first tier above the floor, just forward of the second pair of stoke holes. You can see that the glaze did not melt, or only partially melted, but the interior and foot are really nice because it got buried in the built up embers from the second stoke hole. I tested it out and the clay is actually vitrified, no leaks when I left water in it for about 8 hours. I like the red colors that came out in the interior, and that little nail that embedded itself in the glaze. The only wood that had those little nails was the lath we used to hold the arch forms together, I had thought that I pulled all the nails, but it looks like I missed one anyway. Most of the pots that had really nice color response on the feet were the ones that got buried in embers.

Next is this Chosen Karatsu Katakuchi that was fired in gas and refired in the wood kiln. What a huge difference. The iron at the lip has a much more varied color response, and blues are much more apparent. Also much of the gloss has been lost, and there is much more texture in the glaze surface than before. One thing that is nice: this particular madara glaze pinholes horribly in the gas kiln, especially on the interiors of pots. While this refire still shows some of the original pinholes, many of them did partially heal over, and the other pieces in the kiln with this glaze that were fired for the first time had no pinholes. This madara glaze is the same one that is on the katakuchi above, the only difference is the melt.

One thing I’ve never gotten before are these partially healed cracks in the glaze. Got them in a few pieces, not just refires. I wonder what the cause is?

4 thoughts on “A couple of pots”

  1. Good work Mike. How I'd love to give you a hand in a firing. Someday…
    I like your first Katakuchi alot.
    How many people were you throughout the firing?
    How many cords of wood did it take?
    How about that TC ! Not reliable in your opinion?
    MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A GREAT NEW YEAR TO YOU, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR IN-LAWS, TSURUTA SENSEI, KOOKI and all of your pots.

  2. Hi Carmen,
    There were two of us for much of the two days. The first day, two others also came and helped carry wood, split wood, etc… After all, very little of the wood I already split got burned. We ended up splitting larger pieces straight off of the palettes. I'd say it took about 1.5 cords for the 36 hours. Next time I'm planning to go longer, probably double.

  3. Wow 1.5 cords for your size kiln is sweet. In Canada a cord is about 70$. That's not much wood at all.
    How much is a cord in Japa?

  4. Hi Carmen,

    Here, they seem to sell it by the bundle, and it is expensive. About 5$ a bundle. Maybe 18" long by 10" in diameter. Mine that came on those palettes is about 35$ per palette-full. The wood is free, but the delivery costs that much. And there is no air in that cord because of the wood shape.

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