Monday, March 21, 2011

I like Trains (kilns)

The firing went very well, and if you know the way a train fires, there's kind of a text-book way it wants to go. The hardest part about a train is not letting it get too hot up front while the back end stays cool. Luckily we had a very even firing. Cone 10s all around and cone 11 in the front. All in all the firing lasted, with a down firing.. 42 or 43 hours and something like 5 chords of pine went through the kiln. Lots of wood.

Here's a shot of Kenyon, Dave, Tim and a previous resident at the Bray, Steve Roberts. Steve wasn't involved in the firing, but is always interested in the atmospheric firings coming out at the Bray. Steve makes some kick ass pots....and seems to have really nailed his own style of soda firing.

After a few more firings and some tweaking of the clays, glazes and slips.. I think Kenyon's firings will really start to be super sweet. Some of the pots look a little dry..and that has everything to do with the clay bodies. Some of these pots should be in a much longer firing to really record the information that's possible.. Dark clays can be nice in a train, but if they're highly refractory.. pots can just resist that ash and vapor. I really prefer porcelain in most atmospheric firings.. the high silica content is so responsive.

If you're in Tampa for the next NCECA conference, you gotta hit the Art Stream and buy some of Kenyon's pots. How could you not, knowing the whole back story and drama behind the work?? Not to mention they're pretty sweet pots too...

Here's Matt and his first official wood-fired pieces. He's a slip caster and mixed up a slip with mostly grolleg... they went in bare and were near the back of the kiln. My slipped bowl was in the square shaped one. He's excited about the results, and he should be. We'll whip him into shape in no time.

I'm going to push this layered slip and sgraffito thing more I think. It could turn into something really amazing...

Now I can officially say this is the end of my insane wood-firing binge for the last couple of months. One Anagama, and three Train firings. I learned so much. I'm tired and sore and ready for a break. There's a good point after a few firings like I've had where I get to sit down, look at the work and decide what needs to happen next.

So until then, faithful reader...keep on keepin on.

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