This firing was special in many ways. First of all, a great friend of mine, Michael Strand, came out to participate in the event. His presence was awesome as he has fired anagama kilns all over the world and is a world-class teacher, potter and activist.
Several other potters visited the firing as well...Stephen Rodriques of New Haven, CT. Mark Potter and Louise Harder and Kristen Muller also partook in the festivities.
For me, the best part of visiting potters was the exchange of ideas and forging of friendships. I learned more this past firing than ever before...or so it seems. Mostly, the feeling of being a part of an inclusive group of clay enthusiasts was thrilling to me.
Former students took a larger role in the firing of the kiln. Michael suggested I give even more responsibility to these folks as they have proven their commitment to the process. That'd be great, especially since my two little ones are requiring ever more parental focus as time wears on.
Regarding the firing itself, we packed it fuller than ever. The results were stunning in most of the kiln. Although the tail was packed a bit tight and we had trouble reaching max temp in that section. Always lessons to be learned...but some spectacular results.
Next time, will fire a bit faster...3.5 days for this one...next fire, Dec. 2015, will be 2.5 days with a high temp hold for 24 hours.
Will stack looser throughout and create some open channels for flame and some tightly stacked sections to create micro-climates. There'll be a larger percentage of 25 lb. plus pieces in the kiln too..looking forward to seeing broader surfaces and their variations.
The firing is slated to finish up New Year's Eve...so should be a fun finale'. Best, Trev