At the Kiln

Kiln in summer

I finished my kiln and fired it for the first time while eight months pregnant in the Fall of 2006. The kiln has been fired many times since then and every one is just as rewarding as the first. Firing with wood is always a bit challenging. It’s physically more work and you don’t always know what you’re going to get, but that is why it appeals to me so much. And of course, hopefully, some beautiful pots come out too! The design of my kiln is known as a Train Kiln because visually it resembles a train engine. It is a fairly efficient, smaller sized wood kiln. With the help of a small and wonderful crew I fire it over two days using 1.5 cord of mixed hard and softwood. On the first day we gradually climb in temperature to 2,000 degrees. Then the kiln is held in that range overnight to build up ash and create more color on the pots. In the morning, along with keeping the main firebox full, we stoke wood in the back and bring the whole kiln up to 2300 degrees, peak temperature. Three days to cool, then it’s finally time to unload and see what you’ve got.