Wednesday, July 11, 2007

kiln on fire

This is a picture of our first kiln firing. The kiln fires for a 36 hour cycle, and it must be continually stoked, which means someone has to be there at all times to feed wood to the kiln every minute or two. My stoking shift was with Madhur (of New Delhi) and Kim (of Seoul). We had a very difficult shift because we were at a point where the kiln was almost at the final firing temperature. It is so difficult to get the rhythm down of feeding the kiln at the right moment—too much wood and you pull the temperature down, too little and the same happens. We had it going for a while, then a party showed up bearing sake and we lost 20 degrees Celsius in the ensuing commotion. It took almost an hour to get back to where we were. It was a wonderful and new experience for me though. At my studio I just press a button and the kiln fires. I’ve never felt so in touch with a firing before. We’ll see on Sunday what comes out!