Saturday, May 05, 2012

Spring 2012 firing

I finally filled a whole wood kiln for
a woodfiring for the first time. It was a lot of work but very exciting. I was very pleased with the results and the experience.(which I am very hooked on by now!) It's pretty nerve wrecking if you think about it too much, because filling a whole kiln like this one represents making around 200 pieces.Two hundred pieces to throw, trim, decorate, bisque, glaze, then transport to the kiln, load it, fire it (for about 12 hours), then unload it with fingers crossed the whole time. All this is alot of work and perseverence and a whole lot of belief in yourself!

And THAT is backed-up by friends and family that obviously support your crazy ideas and schemes. I am too well surrounded I think because some close people around me nourish those insane projects of mine and push me to go even further. It's amazing.  
In pottery, if things go wrong at any step of the way, it's a loss. If anything goes wrong in the kiln during the firing, then it's a huge and crushing loss. So why do potters do it? Why risk all that time and energy? Why do they keep firing in woodkilns anyways? I can only answer for myself... It's the thrill! The unknown mystery of the flame, fire and high heat that will bombard the delicate pieces that have been so carefully taken care of in every other step of the way until: the fire! Opening the kiln is usually done a few days after the firing, during those limbo days it's hard do do anything at all. It's a good time to rest eventhough deep inside, one is like a kid again, hoping that Santa will bring that gift they really want. Praying: PLEASE let it be nice! I'll be good , I'll work harder, but please let this kiln be nice!! And it is truly a ceremony to open the kiln. Brick by brick (and there are a lot of them!) slowly revealing the wonders that are unrecongnizable inside that dark and now quiet chamber which a few days back was raging with flames, heat and ashes. And there they are, all the pieces I've spent  months making, counting and packing. 
I take a piece out of darkness and bring into the sun to really see it.
 It's beautiful! Original! Very different! 
...a very happy moment...