Saturday, November 28, 2009
I thought I would show some of the firing process. I have a picture of the front of my kiln, showing how I "candle" for about two and a half hours. I use small sticks, approximately one inch by one inch. I keep the fire small and slowly build up a bed of embers. This starts the snowfall of ash and slowly warms up the kiln. I then moved the fire "on" the grate. I slowly built up embers, ash and heat. If I needed more embers I used bigger pieces of wood or mixed a big one or two in with the smaller ones. I stoked the kiln for about 9 hours and then I kept it between 2100 and 2260 for about four hours to even out the kiln, meaning I wanted the back of the kiln to get hotter. I have included a picture of the mirror propped up against the house where I can watch the flame that's "above me" so I know when to get ready to re-stoke when the flame retreats into the chimney.
If I get too hot in the front, too fast, the front will get up to cone 12 before the back gets to cone 10. If I keep going to get the back hotter, the front will over- fire. This might help potters new to wood firing.