Off to the woodfiring

Tomorrow morning, I will be heading off to my thrice yearly anagama firing. We’ll spend Saturday and Sunday loading the kiln, and start up the fire Sunday night. When will depend on when we get done loading. In the past we’ve started it at times ranging from 6pm Sunday to 3am Monday. Hopefully, it won’t be anything nearly so late as that.
Right now, it looks like I’ll be working the swing shift, 4pm to 12:30am. The schedules are still a bit amorphous, but I hope it works out like that. There’ll be nine of us, working three different shifts. We’ll fire for about 110 hours, shutting it down some time on Friday.
I’ll try too keep things updated on the blog, and I’ll also keep things going on twitter as well! Off I go!

Woodfiring coming up

I have a woodfiring coming up in less than three weeks. Since I only fire three times a year, this is a pretty big deal. I’ve been stressing a bit about getting enough done. I’ll be putting in extra studio time on nights and weekends.

Its fuzzy!

However, I’m pretty excited about some of the work that I have coming up.  I’ve already taken start to finish timelapse of about 4 pieces, though I’ll have to wait until after the firing to compile the videos.  Here’s a sneak peek at some of the piece I’ve been working on.

the travel arrangements have already been made wait, THOSE? youre kidding me!

First of the new pieces up!

I’ve spent the last 48 hours rushing to get off an application for an “Emerging Artist” grant. Now, the light box is finished, a first round of work is photographed, and the CD with my images is burned and in the mail.

I’ve only had time to photograph a few of my favorite pieces, and looking through the results, I think I’ll be doing a few more tweaks to the lighting set up.  I’m pretty happy with it, but I feel like fussing with it a bit more.  Once I have all the information on the new critters up, I’m hoping to put together a howto on building the lighting softbox.

I’ll have my work cut out for me with documenting all of my beasts, though.  I’ll need to photograph them, record all the useful info for them, and price them.  I’ll also have to decide which to send off to galleries, which to sell myself, and which pieces will be not for sale, reserved to enter into shows.  Hopefully, I’ll have all of that worked out by the end of the week.  In the mean time, I’ve uploaded some of the photos I shot today.

Kiln unloaded!

So we unloaded the kiln yesterday.  All in all, it seem like a pretty good firing.  It turned out that we hadn’t dropped cone 13 in the far back, like we thought.  The cones were only viewable from a very strange angle in the back, and someone misread them.  We were only at cone 11 in back, which isn’t bad, but isn’t 13 either. However, we were right about the cones in the front. Cone 13 was completely flat, and cone 14 was starting to bend.

In general, the firing didn’t seem to be hurting from shutting down 15 hours early.  The back was much drier than normal, which was ok for everyone who glazes their pieces (I don’t), but resulted in one or two matte blue gray critters.  I might refirer those two.

Most of the pieces came out great.  I need to now work on cleaning up everything, which should be easy this time, and get photographing.  Unfortunately I need to finish rebuilding my lighting set up from scratch before I can do that.  Photos of the new work (and the new photographic lighting set up) will be coming soon!

Woodfiring wrap up

So now that I’m back from the firing, and have had a bit of sleep, I think that this was a pretty good firing.  It will be completely fascinating to see how it turns out, but I’ll have to wait until we unload on Nov 1st to see what it looks like.

I still find it weird how hot we got.  Normally, we might have cone 13 down in front, 12 in the middle, and 11 down in back.  Having 13 downs through out the kiln, is unusual, alarming, and a bit awesome.  I feel like shutting it down early was the right thing to do, though.  The risk of going on and getting everything too hot, were greater than any downsides of shutting it down 15 hours early.  I think that since we started side stoking early than normal, there won’t be much of a difference in the amount of ash especially in the back of the kiln.  However, there’s just so many variables (very tightly packed kiln, no stoking in the far back port, very hot, short firing, early side stoking, heavy reduction cooling in front, but we forgot to seal off some of the air to the middle) that it will be hard to figure out any cause or effect.  Well, no sense in guessing until Nov 1st.

In the mean time, I’ll take some time to tackle all those less glamorous tasks in the life of an artists: sales tax, expense receipts, website maintenance, and dirty laundry.