Monday, November 7, 2011

Third Firing of the Newfoundout Kiln - June 2011

The end of June firing was great - it was very hot and sunny with no wind. It was the first time that I was able to use a lot of pine, mostly white pine branches and I side stoked with 1x 2 lumber strips that my husband no longer wanted. The temperature reached cone 9 at the chimney end, but I think I really overshot at the front end as cone 11 ended up in a puddle, though with wood firing you can never be sure how much the ashes are affecting the cones. The colour in the kiln near the end at times was white, white, white - I have never seen it that bright so it may have reached cone 13. In addition many glazes turned a shiny transparent, like a celadon. 
Wood Fire BMix - Watercolour Green brushed on and rubbed off, then glazed with Stony Yellow, Hannah Blue and Ochre Ash glazes. You can see the copper from the Watercolour Green was reduced to red - maybe the blood part of the blood sweat and tears that those early settlers when through in the Newfoundout.
The pots pictured are glazed the same, except one is Bmix woodfire clay and the other out of Smoothstone - a stoneware clay -  and fired in a gas kiln to cone 10.
Stoneware clay with the same glazes as above but fired in the gas kiln.
Every time we drive up the kilometer long steep hill into the Newfoundout - that high valley where our farm is located, I think of how those first settlers in the 1880's must have struggled up that hill to claim their land holdings. I wonder what were their first thoughts when they finally arrived - disappointed, happy, apprehensive? By the 1950's they sure must have been disappointed - as the whole valley, the Newfoundout - where at one time 16 families lived was abandoned. I am trying to do a series of pots that reflect some of that.

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