September 11, 2011

WoodFiring: Stage 1

OK, So here is the The Noborigama Wood/Salt/Soda Fire Kiln at Baltimore Clayworks!
Jim Dugan is the red headed guy you see who totally rebuilt this sucker a few months ago(before the earthquake!!!) and is the MASTER. You can also see Laurie Erdman ,such a cool chick, who arranged for the group of us, mainly her potter friends from The DC/VA area and ME, to work on firing this kiln together this weekend! Additionally, there is Jeremy Wallace, Jim's assistant who is a major "woodfire head"(my new name for the pseudo "cult" of woodfire lovers) too.
We all came to Baltimore Clayworks on Friday morning to glaze and load... and then we bricked up the doors...
Saturday morning, those of us on the first shift(me, Al Pellenberg, Laurie), started by mudding up the doors that to seal the kiln... get the fire started... preparing the wood for loading and moving ash in and getting the stoking going... It got busier around 4 and by 5:30 my shift was over...
and it was getting pretty CRACKLY before I left...(last photo)
So, unfortunately, I cannot report about what happens through the night... as I will need to try that shift next time(if there is a next time...).I do know that it requires A LOT of stoking through the night until about 7am...
and that was this morning...
SO... I will report back when it cools by Wednesday morning and I trek back to Baltimore for the opening... very nervous and excited... I will deal with the results, however they may be...


  1. cant wait to see the results.. what an opportunity judi!!!!

  2. I can't wait to see the results, it should look absolutely fantastic on your pieces! Where are your pieces in the kiln? Hoping, they will get loads of great color and won't be too "crusty" :-) But even that might look cool!

  3. Nervous and excited... day after tomorrow... ANYWAY... Mel... they are all over... a mixture... probably 1/2 in the woodfire only chamber and 1/2 in salt/soda/wood... its a total unknown... crusty may be great... some are glazed or glazed in parts... some no glaze on outside... some have a flashing slip... they are 4 different clays... ALL STANDARD: 119,213,621 and 508... We shall see...

  4. I hope you can keep track of where every piece is - it's great to make pieces and glaze for certain parts of the kiln. No matter what, I think your designs and deco is great for this kind of firing! Keeping my fingers crossed!


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