Sunday, November 14, 2010

OUCH!!!! That's HOT!!!

by MaryAnn Carroll

And HOT it is...... I'm going to take you on a little tour of a wood-firing.  I'll let you know right up front, that I've forgotten to take a few pictures along the way.  This is where I use the..."I'm 50....it happens!!" excuse ;o)  Comes in handy when you are this age!!

First of all I would like to welcome you to my home up in the hills of Homer, NY.  It's where I reside with my husband Bill, our 2 large dogs and one little dog.  We have Buddy, our rescue Lab/Rot mix, Jake, who was my going through a divorce dog.  He is 9 and Mikito, who was my STILL going through a divorce dog (can never have enough dogs!) who is 8 1/2 and recently went blind.  There's more about him on my blog if you are interested.


Here's me inside my cozy home is where I create my beads.....sitting right here at the kitchen table.... I do plan on turning a room downstairs into a studio, but I know me and it will become a place to store my things, not a place where I will actually sit and work...


I don't always do this part (the bead forming) anymore.  My son Ben does.  He gets them to me ready to go.  I do the glazing and firing.....  I did make the woodfire beads, however.

Below you will see 2 different types of clay.  One is a stoneware mix (bottom) that is very reliable in the woodfire kiln.  The other is a mix of stoneware and red clay that surfaced after a local landslide that happened back in 1993.


After molding and sanding all of these, my fingers still were able to separate them by clay types and shapes.  I would typically use my tumbler for sanding, but I waited until the last minute to get these beads ready, so there wasn't time to tumble.  By the way, if you are a clay person reading this, the tumber is the best investment I've ever made!


Next, each of these were glazed, loaded onto bead trees and put into the kiln. 


Next, on the agenda, we have a shot of the entire inside of the kiln.  You can see that my beads are just a small part of this very big process.  Bill works for a long time getting all of that pottery ready for the firing.  This group will be heading out to an Art Show/Sale called Art Mart which is in downtown, Syracuse, NY.


Next, the kiln is sealed up and ready to go.


Below is a picture of Bill loading the wood one piece at a time which he will do for the next 13 plus hours.  I'll offer food and drinks throughout the process ;o)


Some sneak peeks inside the kiln.... Those pointed pieces are called cones.  They measure the temperature that is actually taking place inside the kiln.  The first one is a Cone 8 which measures temperatures a little over 2200 degrees farenheit and the last one is Cone 12 which measures the temperature at 2400 degrees farenheit.  Once he gets the temperature at Cone 12, he holds is there for a while before cooling down.


You can see the bead trees getting hit with flame.....VERY COOL!!!


And what started in the morning is now ending in the evening.


That concludes our tour for today ;o)

Stop back next week to see the kiln opening!

15 comments:

Kristi Bowman said...

I love seeing this whole process, look forward to the reveal!!

eve said...

Very interesting, look forward to the next stage.

Laura Twiford said...

Very cool pictures, exciting process! I too look forward to the finished results.

Alice said...

I love seeing the process. Does Bill babysit the kiln the entire time?

Thanks so much for sharing.

MaCarroll Beads said...

Yes....Bill is with the kiln the entire day. He has to add wood every few minutes to keep the temperature rising. It is a ton of work. I participated once and I'm pretty sure it is not my thing....but I LOVE the results. His mugs are the absolute best ever and keep getting better each time :O)

Marsha Neal Studio (Marsha's Garden Blog, Marsha Minutella) said...

oohhh… Anagama kiln wood firings!!! We used to drive out to Clarion University (PA) 2x a year back in college to fire that kiln. It would take us three days to prep it, load it, & fire it. It was always so much fun hanging out with all the clay people you only knew through this firing… Can't wait to see the end pics!

For My Sweet Daughter said...

thanks for a peak into the firing process and a big thanks to Bill who does such a great job!

Judy said...

I am so intrigued and can't wait to see when you open the kiln. Thanks for the insight, I have always wondered about the process of wood firing.

Patty said...

Thanks for sharing that, MaryAnn! I know very little about that art, and find the process very interesting. I can't wait to read more. :-)

Barbara Lewis said...

Nothing quite so beautiful as the flame in a kiln licking the sides of some great pots! I hope you take a photo of the kiln before it's unloaded! Thanks for sharing, Mary Ann, makes me remember I was a potter once!

Createology said...

This is incredible to see the process you use to make your beads. I have never seen inside a burning kiln before. Amazing. Thank you for sharing. Happy creating...

MaCarroll Beads said...

Well...the kiln has been opened. The nice part about this small Anagama kiln that Bill built is that it takes less than a day to cool right off. The large ones, as you know Marsha, take days to cool....

I will be listing some this week, but save the pics of the entire group until my next posting....There is nothing quite like it!!! You should see those pots, Barbara!!! :O)

Robbie said...

So interesting!!! Thanks for sharing and letting us spend some time with you!!

Courtney said...

Such fun. I loved this tour. Thank you.

Kinderhook said...

Loved seeing all this and can't wait to see your finished products! Thanks for sharing it. --SallyA

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