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!