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Firing Log

ancient kiln | 21st century logbook

March 27, 2006

Loaded and Lit

Filed under: anagama, 6th,Firing — odin @ 12:45 pm

A week ago I wrote about how I planned to finish the kiln loading at midnight on Sunday, chat with the kiln god, light the gas burner, and sip hot cocoa through the night. Things didn’t quite go according to plan.

It seem to be taking me longer and longer and longer to load the kiln. I didn’t get the burner lit till 5:30 am Monday morning and then I went straight to bed on the floor of the studio lounge. I’d post a picture of my “lounge” (a capacious 5×8′ room), but everything is in disarray at the moment, and frankly, I’m too tired to even bother with the picture or the cleaning.

I started working yesterday about 9:00 am. Granted, not all that time was loading — there were some other small things I had to take care of around the kiln, but loading commenced at 1:00 pm and finished about 3:30 am (14.5 hours). I was kind of grumpy so I decided to go home and shower before having my chat with the kiln. I didn’t want to say anything mean.

I hurt everywhere. Laying on my side in a narrow cave, poked by bricks, and reaching in only the most unnatural ways possible — for that long — takes a toll on the body and the spirit. I’ve decided that from now on, I’ll set aside two days for loading, or only make really big stuff. With cups and bowls and such, it really is too much to do in one day.

I have so many things I want to mention about firing an anagama, but right now, even typing hurts. Instead, I’m going to nurse my cuts, scrapes, and pulled muscles while considering the sacrifices it seems that anagamas require. Some of that sacrifice must be made in blood. I bled, pounded, and pulled my body a lot yesterday — I sure hope the kiln thinks it is enough.

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