...I got to help fire an Anagama Kiln! An Anagama Kiln is a beast. It is a wood firing kiln that originates from Korea and China and takes 48 hours to fire and a week to cool down. This is not one of those electric kilns that you press a few buttons and come back the next day to your finished wares. The beautiful thing about an Anagama kiln is that unexpected things happen. The temperature is controlled by the amount of wood loaded and the amount of air allowed in to the kiln. Since most people can't stay up for forty-eight hours, four hour shifts are assigned to couples that may or may not have vessels in the kiln. I was lucky enough to assist Chase with his 1:00AM to 4:00AM shift...it was great! We sat around talking with other people watching the kiln. The heat was immense, but the glow the kiln had was beautiful. Below are a few photos taken of the firing, the kiln is cooling off until Saturday so I will update you with images from the unloading and the treasures that result from this amazing process!
That last photo is the team that came before Chase and I. The woman on the right is opening up the door to the kiln and the man on the right is loading the wood in. It's a dance, and it takes rhythm and synchronization since the temperature can change drastically if the door is open for more than a second or two.
I will update you all with studio images tomorrow. I am very excited about the painting I just finished!
Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!