Our sixth firing is completed. Everything seemed to come out well in the end, although it was a strange day yesterday. It was fairly windy and the wind kept changing directions throughout the first part of the day--blowing with the kiln, against the kiln, across the kiln... really kept us on our toes. We would get in a good rhythm, with healthy reduction levels, good ember bed, etc... then the wind would change and suddenly the kiln would be just ripping along, or seem to stall and exhibit some serious back pressure.
One of the best lessons I learned from my good friend Takuro while firing different wood kilns together is the need for patience and self restraint while firing large wood kilns. Often only minor adjustments are needed to fix issues that come up during a firing. The effects of these minor adjustments, however, often take quite a while to really show themselves.
I was pretty thankful yesterday to have learned the value of self restraint and patience during longer firings. I think the wind could of easily had us running in circles otherwise. Toward the late afternoon, the wind had settled down to a steady breeze blowing against the kiln (blowing from the chimney toward the firebox). This added several hours to the end of the firing, but was at least predictable.
Well, without further ado, the stoker gallery:
Aaron and Krista stopped by Friday afternoon for moral support and a couple of hours of stoking:
Tate and Claire came out to the firing for the first time.
We really enjoyed their company and help Thursday and Friday. They also brought their dog Nell.
Nell and Charley didn't get off to the best start--Charley doesn't exactly like to share food. Toward the end of the firing, though, Charley was prancing around with a stick trying to get Nell to play, and Nell was following closely trying to herd him. Not exactly a match made in heaven, but they both seemed to be reasonably happy.
Christy's brother John and sister-in-law Michelle also joined us along with Brett, Ashley, and Jeff on Thursday evening, although we forgot to take pictures.
Last (but not least), here are your favorite Windy Ridge potters:
Apparently the weather people weren't lying; we did get some snow towards the end of the firing. Here's the view from inside our toasty house this morning:
Looks cold huh? Don't worry-- we're not planning on leaving the house anytime soon to find out. We're both a little wiped out after our extended firing and are planning on taking it easy today.