The Firing

Well, the kiln firing happened and that sucker just ’bout kicked my butt. What a different experience from firing gas and electric. Here are just a couple of things I learned from firing the wood kiln:

1. Kilns are very hot.
2. When you open the doors and hole covers the heat comes out.
3. I look kind of funny with half of my eyebrows gone.

The whole firing went off pretty well considering. We only had one bit of drama, and that was when the front stoke hole cover dropped off just as Tsuruta san had finished stoking. The castable cover fell out of the metal frame and flames were shooting out and up from the front of the kiln, which is not a desirable situation. After an initial moment of panic, we covered the front hole with fiber and managed to get the castable back in its frame, and tightened everything up again. It only took us about 5 minutes, and lasted the rest of the firing.

Without going into great detail, here are some pictures:

Up to about 900C there was very little smoke

 Mike stoking

 Mike stoking Daniels work shorts

 Mike stoking Carmens work jeans

 Mike stoking Craigs work gloves

 Tsuruta san checking the temps

 Pretty peep holes

Stoking the clothing was, I thought, a good christening for the new kiln. I tossed in my holy gloves as well, we’ll see just what effect jeans, shorts, and 2 pair of holy gloves had after the kiln cools enough to unload.

More pictures, from the front stoke hole:

 This last one is a bit difficult to tell, but it is the fiber covered 2nd chamber glowing in the dark after we shut everything up and the sun went down.

Now just looking forward to unloading the kiln, which will probably be Wed or Thurs. From initial peeks, it does look like there are some over fired and under fired areas, but that is not unexpected, especially this first time.

7 thoughts on “The Firing”

  1. Congratulation!! Wow… nice to see fire.
    Were the pictures from the front stoke hole taken when the kiln was cooling? I see some shiny pots!!
    Unloading….just in time for Christmas… Santa even has a chimney to come down and leave presents.

    Cheers
    ~Craig

  2. Yes, we'd finished with the first chamber and were getting ready to start the second. Decided it probably wouldn't hurt too much to take a peek from the front. What a beautiful sight, the pictures do it no justice. Next time video.

    It just rained cats and dogs, and I'm going out to see if water has risen up into the firebox. Kiln should be pretty cool by now, around 400C or so, so I don't imagine a lot of steam would do too much damage to anything.

  3. Beautiful!!!! I am green with envy for the experience you just lived! And I know you lived it to its fullest!
    I am glad you blog about it and keep us informed about our baby and its different stages in life. It looks so grown up…
    I see the fire left you your mustache, that was nice of him. I am deeply touched by my hard workin dirty jeans being part of it all. Prosperity for the new year guaranteed! MERRY CHRISTMAS and CONGRATULATIONS!
    (many exclamation points, you know me, I mean them!)

  4. Thanks all for the congratulations!
    Now that the fatigue has worn off, I already feel ready to fire again. From the looks of the inside of the kiln, there will be plenty of stuff that needs refiring…

  5. Hello Mike and gang
    Congratulations I would have really like to be part of it ! Glad that my shorts were there for me. Oh no by the way, forgot something in my pockets !!!
    Merry Christmas and looking foward april 2012 !
    Dan w. p.

  6. Hi Daniel! Good to hear from you. Don't worry, from the looks of them, the only thing in those pockets was brick dust…

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