Friday, 29 May 2015

First firing of the 28 degree anagama .....done

It's been a while since I updated this blog, but in my defense it's been quite a busy time :-). I finally finished building the kiln mid April, which left three weeks for the insulation layer to dry before my proposed first firing date. Luckily the weather played the game and it was warm and dry, which allowed the kiln to dry out thoroughly. Below is a continuation of building images from my last post. I had a little more mechanisation to help me with this kiln in the form of a brick saw and a small cement mixer. much easier to cut precise bricks with a saw rather than hammer and bolster and even with a cement mixer it took several days to reconstitute, remix and lay the insulation from the old kiln.

One of my main considerations when knocking down the old kiln and building this new one was to build a kiln which could be packed in a day rather than three and fired in three days rather than four. It is also designed to be an extreme kiln with lots of contact between the wood and the clay with the steep stepping (28 degrees from firebox floor to base of the chimney), generating turbulence to promote ash build up on the work and a strong flow through the chamber. Below is short film (just under 5 mins), which documents the packing and the firing of this kiln.

I'm really pleased with the results of this firing and excited about making new work for the next firing at the end of the summer; hopefully ready to exhibit at the Autumn shows. A huge thanks to  Steve Parry for once again working alongside me to the bitter end, also many thanks to Carl Gray for taking on the first night shift, also to Jo Keogh and Ed Penn for stoking the first day.

It's now getting towards the time to start preparing for the summer shows. This year so far I'll be showing at:

 Earth and Fire  Rufford Abbey north Nottinghamshire 26th - 28th June. Demostrating 1pm Friday 26th

Warwickshire open studios with Claire Brierley 27th June - 12th July (demonstrating Sunday 12th July).

Innovations in Ceramic Art Cambridge guild hall 10th -11th October (I'll be giving a presentation).

Oxford Ceramics Fair St. Edwards School, Oxford 24th-25th October.