Puh, that month has certainly exceeded the expectations I had of it! Now that I have to review what happened it all seems to be ages ago…
|packing the kiln|
It all began with a few days of glazing pots. When that was done we started packing both kilns simultaneously and while Nic was about half way through his one, Sabine clammed up hers and lid the fire at a Saturday. The following night gave me the opportunity of having this years first grave yard shift from 2 – 6 am. And many would follow soon…
The start of Nics’ firing was on a Wednesday morning and looking back I must say it went quite extraordinary. After a battle with weather and wood we did soon fall behind the schedule and after two days there was no other option left than to fire one night and one day longer. We then finished on a Sunday evening. Moments of satisfaction came up when the air system I had to build in the firebox last month did its job and burned down the embers nicely. Though there have to be done some adjustments before the next firing…
So, as I mentioned we finished on a Sunday which left us seven days to go until the arriving of the German students. And without rewarding our self after that great task with having a day off, we moved on to finally finish it all off : putting up the yurt, building up the compost loo, getting the footings done for the new kiln to come and preparing the workshop.
|the beginning of something new|
|wind- and waterproofed|
And after a noisy week (hammering and sawing and drilling and digging and screwing and swearing) we’ve got it all done dead on time. The yurt was ready for moving in, the toilet ready for use, the footings ready to get bricked up and the workshop as clean as a whistle!
I think we’ve done well.
|health and safety: checked|
So far, the Germans have been here for over a week and from beginning on they were all very kind of taking over being bussy! Under instruction of Nic and Sabine they’re throwing mugs, bottles, tea pots and lidded jars for firing sabines kiln and the one they’re building. That gave me a weeks’ time to potter around, getting some bottles and vases done, mixing a couple of new clay bodies to test and to help out at the kiln if needed.
|work in progress|
|next months' job|
Yeah and in the next weeks we’re getting back to a well-known routine of splitting and stacking wood and packing and firing the kilns!
Ah and that makes me think of the last firings! What was all that outcome of it? Well, first at all Sabine decided to wait with the opening until the Germans have arrived to give them some kind of idea of how their pack should look like. That did make sense of course but having had a fully cooled down kiln closed up for over a week put quite a strain on me and certainly on Sabine as well! Nics kiln needed that week to cool down anyway. But that whole process of waiting and not knowing what’s inside waiting for you reminded me very much of how Christmas eve used to be as a child. All the expectation and anticipation which are building up over the days and then spilling over at that very moment of the opening, leaving you whether with amazement or frustration of not getting what you want.
Ha! And what a bitter pill that was I had to swallow!
The outcome of Nics kiln wasn’t quite what I had expected or maybe it was as expected but not what we were looking for. But that only changed my way of looking at the pots and now there is very different, new and beautiful stuff to look at. It also was a great kick-start for me to think and read about woodfiring. A process that is still going on…Hmmm… and I still wonder about how Santa Claus manages to get all those colors’ into the kilns…
|the combustion of santa (not!)|