Sunday, April 5, 2009

Wood Firing Event at NCPC

Cerebration of Seagrove Potters made a plan to have group wood firing at NCPC and they asked STARworks Ceramics to donate NC Local Clay and also do technical support for the firing. The wood firing was hold on April 4th, and we helped kiln loading and leading wood firing for Seagrove potters.

It's always not easy to make everybody happy for large group wood firing, and I tried to be fare to load kiln with so many people and pots.

As for the firing, the first shift (Leader: Fred Johnston) started candling at 4:30am, and the second shift (Leader: David Stuempfle) got cone 010 down at 2pm and cone 6 down at 4pm in the glaze chamber. The third shift (Leader:Chad Brown) had a little bit hard time to control temperature differences between the bottom and top. Usually this stage is always hard because you must get temperature and heat but also good reduction atmosphere both at the same time.

STARworks Ceramcis was in charged of the last shift until finish, and it was also very hard to make temperatures evenly. Takuro watched flames in the kiln, smoke from chimney, sounds from kiln, color of flame, like many signs from firing, but not pyrometer. David and Alexa (Seagrove Stoneware), Benjamin Burns (The Great White Oak), Santiago Ramirez (STARworks Ceramics) were our team and we did good job to wrap up the hardest part of firing.

The glaze chamber was done around 7pm or so, then moved on the salt chamber. When cone 7 down on the bottom of the salt chamber, Hitomi kicked in rock salts (approx 10 lb) by metal angle, and we finally finished firing at 9:15pm.

As a result, it went well and seems like people were happy about the firing. Kiln unloading will be on April 13th (Monday) and you will see the results of STARworks NC local clay.
In my personal opinion, I have fired this kiln for seven times when I was a residency artist of NCPC, and this firing is probably one of the best firing at NCPC according to my experiences. I can't wait to see the results.


Michael Mahan said...

Thank you Hitomi and Takuro for your donation of local clay and expertise in firing the kiln. I hate that I blew up one of my pieces made with your clay in my bisque kiln. I'm looking forward to see the results.


H said...


We are pleased everything went well. STARworks Clay came out really good from our wood firings last fall, and especially it was really reliable for wood firing than any other commercial clay.

You should always use sand or grog plus a piece of broken kiln shed or anything which is high refractory underneath of large scale pots for bisque firing. Also go super slow between 200F to 300F, that would be safer.