Everything changes when you buy your ticket home, aka, firing results.

I have unloaded the front stacks in each room, I will leave the back stacks intact and just take out the work, use the shelves for the next firing.

I would say this firing ‘style’, fire, put burner in and break, continue firing, etc., wasn’t successful. I have plenty of sell-able work but it isn’t what I am looking for in firing. The pictures show about 1/3 of the work, I haven’t unloaded the rest yet. The first room, black and white work, went too high in temperature. I also seem to have had a problem I haven’t figured out yet. Some of the black work  pings fine when I take it out but after using it once it thuds when flicked with my finger. I suspect thermal shock from going up and down in temperature.  The white work is fine, just fired too high. I like to finesse the temperature at the top and get a just melted finish. This work is fired to what most people want to fire to, that is, well melted. I don’t like well melted.

The second room, feldspar and ash glaze, is all over-reduced. Feldspar calls for a medium to less reduction, this stuff all is well reduced. Luckily I have 500 bowls left I can try again with.

I met an Australian man in Pokhara, Nepal in about 1988 who said something to me that I think is very wise. He was bearded, wearing Indian “hippie” clothes, the kind of traveler who probably bought the original Lonely Planet ‘Yellow Bible’ guide book. We were talking about long term, longer than 1 year, travelers and short term travelers. I was about 5 months into a 1 year trip.  I was trying to understand how to divide up my time in my trip. His advice was that everything changes when you buy your ticket home. He was right in that and he has been right with that advice in any number of projects I have undertaken. I think in this last firing I had bought my ticket home before I started and didn’t really do a good job of understanding what the requirements were. That is to say I know how to fire this kiln but I was thinking about how neat it was I could call it a day at the end of the day instead of thinking about what the kiln needed in any particular stretch. I haven’t decided if I will try again the “Abe” style. I am leaning toward doing it minus the burner. I think the burner acts more like a ticket home than a help.


About togeii

I have lived in Japan for 19 years doing ceramics almost the whole time. I have a wood burning noborigama and a long snake kiln.. I
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