Madrid Wood-Fire: Days 2-4
Today, we finished glazing wares and started loading our beloved anagama kiln. I’ve decided to try out WordPress’s new slide show feature for images of the past few days. (Unfortunately, the picture titles don’t come up when you mouse over them, so hopefully you can decipher what’s what from my brief description.) Included are pictures of glazing and decorating at the kiln site; stacking pots in the front and back of the kiln; exterior shots of the kiln; cone packs (cones are the colored ceramic triangle thingys used to gauge different temperatures, here ranging from 1800-2400 deg); and pictures of the various wares that will be loaded. There are also a couple pictures of wadding being made. Wadding is a dough-like mixture of alumina, oat bran and fire clay that’s used to prevent pots from sticking to the shelves during the firing. Several balls of wadding are placed either on the bottom or side of each piece before it’s loaded.
The wadded wares are carefully placed on the shelves which have been carefully stacked in the kiln to hopefully create an even flow of flame, temperature, and wood ash from front to back. Some of the wares, like those in the very front, are “tumble stacked,” or stacked on their sides, one on top of another, with no shelves. The kiln is about 4′ tall at the arch (decreasing in height as it climbs up the hill) and 15′ long. Loading it is like assembling a giant, 500 piece puzzle meticulously constructed one piece at a time; it takes about 16 hours to load the whole kiln, depending on how many pieces are in each firing (usually 400-600). We’re all careful with, and respectful of, each other’s work during loading so that nothing is broken in the process. Hope you enjoy the pictures!
And for those of you who would like to see the live-action version, check out Jesse’s new video!.