Tuesday, July 17, 2007

4 am

The sun is rising, birds are singing, and the kilns are burning.

This is a special kiln that Ryoji designed specifically for creating consistent wood ash effects called a Hai Kaburi. There was a detailed article written about it in the June/July 2006 Ceramics Monthly for those of you interested. This baby eats wood like the monster it is; once it reaches temperature you stoke it for 24 hours straight firing at 1250 degrees Celsius. Below is a picture of Ryoji bringing reinforcements-- this is one of three pallets of wood we burned. When you stoke, the fire is leaping out at you and the heat is incredible. Stoking happens about every 8-12 minutes, and you need that downtime just to make sure you didn't catch on fire anywhere. I was feeling pretty dang studly when my shift ended at 8 am this morning, just in time to feel some aftershocks from the earthquake.