Saturday, October 9, 2010

Kiln Day, "Palouse, WA"

For the last couple of days I've been in a tiny little town in eastern Washington State called, Palouse. I'm here with my special lady-friend, Crista, setting up a small solo show she's having at the local gallery, which she's been represented at since she was in college. We wont be getting back to Helena until late Sunday night, which Kiln Day, 6 this week - Bummer. Yet even though we're almost 400 miles away, the Kiln Day has emerged regardless of location. Let me explain...

Two days ago we spent the first half of the day setting up Crista's show, which was full of unexpected twists and turns. To say the least, once it was done we were happy to get out of the gallery and walk around the main street, seeing some antique shops and making the easy decision to hit the tavern for a beer. As we walked in, Cirsta recognized a man sitting amongst a group of guys at a table near the bar. She introduces me to Tim, an older gentleman of maybe...55-58 years with short white hair. He was drinking a 16 oz. can of Keystone light. Tim is the sculpture/ceramic studio tech at WSU where Crista earned her undergraduate degree. Just a semester ago Tim dismantled some old gas kilns, a 50 and 25 cubic foot, that had to be replaced. Tim squirreled the remains away.... not having the heart to throw them away- a true sign of an excellent tech. Once we told Tim about the small wood kiln we've been building he said, "Well hey, you know about those kilns we replaced? I have a bunch of steel and some bricks you can have.. just come by later and we'll load you up."

Yesterday we met Tim at the school and we loaded the truck down with a whole lot of steel and angle iron, about 100 more soft brick.... and the big scores were the 8 Venturi burners and 2 thermocouples with a good length of wire.

This is excellent news my people!!! Now we have enough metal to secure the kiln, make the stoking doors and a way to read the temperature during the firing. I'm going to buy a digital readout for this guy and be able to track the firing up and cooling down of this kiln... I'll have a solid way to continue some of my cone 6 soda, reduction cooling plus wood.. I was into back in Logan a few years back. Bang on!

The odd picture of Crista and I is our silly tribute to "American Gothic". Thank you Mr. Wood!


  1. Good people deserve good kiln karma. Congrats, hope Crista's show goes well, hugs and giggles from the dups

  2. Nice project. Good luck also and I hope all goes well. Congrats!!!