the giant wood kiln holds literally hundreds of pots. all the potters take turns tending to the fire, usually in either 6 or 8 hour shifts. every hour we write down the temperature in the log book. we load 6 foot slabs into the kiln all day and all night until we reach a temperature of 2300 degrees. salt is added into the kiln at intervals, where it instantly vaporizes and forms a glaze on the pots. the fire leaves it's mark also.
when finished, it will take a week to cool down. it feels like the longest week! finally, the doors come down and the potters gather round to see the results. each piece is unloaded and inspected, admired or questioned, mental notes are made, and we already thinking about the next firing.
wood firing is probably one of the most labor intensive arts you can imagine, with the most unpredictable results! lots of the time things turn out so differently than you had imagined, that it's hard to do anything but shake your head. it's a lot to process when you get 100 things out of the kiln!
with wood firing, all parts of the process are so fun that it's hard not to do it again.
my pots looked totally different than i imagined, but still good!
photographs and words by rebecca wood