Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lucky #7


After a few lovely, long days of cooling the kiln, we unloaded on Saturday. The front chamber looked fabulous:

Toasty browns, more ash than usual (thanks to a slightly longer soak and new grate spacing) and some nice flashing. Our only hitch was that the pyrometer fell in during the firing:

Fortunately Joe fished it out before the wires were totally fried, and, although the cover fell onto the one of the only glazed pots in the entire front stack, we were able to free it without breaking anything.

And the second chamber...

We had shelf issues. Again! Just before getting to temperature in the second chamber, the cones on my side disappeared, replaced with a shelf in front of the spyhole. While the kiln cooled, we hashed over all the things that could have caused the shelf to shift--we were confident that inexperience or loading error weren't factors, because Joe and I loaded the kiln ourselves. We thought that maybe the floor was shifting during the firing, or that we needed more of an expansion joint between the floor blocks. More than anything, we were confused and upset--because, really, who has shelves collapse more than once??



After we unstacked the door and pulled pots off the shelves, the problem was obvious:



One of our heavy-duty firebricks had fallen apart like a crumbly brownie, and this poor little heroic mug was the only thing holding the stack up!

The same thing happened in the center stack:



Only this time, a teabowl held the shelf up:


Check out the brick carnage behind the teabowl! Luckily we only lost a few pots due to the collapse--most of them somehow stayed on the shelves. While the firebricks we use for posts are top-of-the-line, they were used when we purchased them, and somewhere between 40 and 60 years old. A little tired, perhaps. We are planning to get silicon carbide posts before our next firing. If anyone has a good source for these (or just super-duty bricks) please let us know.

And the pots...

We are really happy with the results of the firing! Most of the pots on the table above are for a show in Wisconsin that opens this month, and a few are going to be set aside for the Clay and Blogs Show later this fall.







**christy

14 comments:

Pat said...

That dark teapot is really beautiful - as are most of the pots! I am so pleased that the shelf problem is solved and so few pots were damaged. Christy, how did your plates turn out? And your glaze and clay trials? Congratulations on a great firing!

Kari Weaver Hopkins said...

Your photos of the collapse are incredible! The surviving pots are wonderful! Wow.

Sue Pariseau Pottery said...

Many gorgeous pieces. Glad to hear the collapse didn't ruin more pieces. Be well.

Joe and Christy said...

thanks, ladies! pat--i'm really excited about my clay tests--the local clay fired to a beautiful deep purple/brick red. i'll take some pics and post later this week.

**c

cookingwithgas said...

great firing!
and lucky with the shelves!

Paul Elgin said...

looking forward to getting a piece from that firing evething looks great

ang said...

such cool flashing nice...stinker about the props and good call on the replacing...

Zachary and Jennifer said...

Very cool and beautiful!

Jennifer

雅莊王edgd春2蕙婷余惠其 said...
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芸茂芸茂 said...
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Linda Starr said...

Love the teapot and the others are wonderful. What an amazing story - the teacup and mug held all that up, sorry about the breakage though.

Anonymous said...

Use tea bowls to hold your shelves up. Seems to work pretty well.

deanandmartinpottery said...

Hey guys, everything looks real good despite the unfortunate shelf collapse. Glad you didn't lose to much. Love the work it looks like you had a real good firing. Once you get the SiC post everything will be golden then for the next firing. Good luck with your show. Hope ya'll have a great summer. Bye now!

kriips said...

Firebricks falling apart???!??!?!!! That's just crazy.
Looks like ya'll had a great firing and nice results despite the misfortune. Good luck guys!