Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
OffCenter

Pine Ash

Recommended Posts

Nelly    16

Getting much better natural ash glazing using just pine for the anagama instead of pine and oak.

 

 

 

Dear Off Center,

 

Your picture of your cup is absolutely beautiful. I too love wood firing but am limited to electric.

 

I know this is likely not the spot to post this but a few years back in my hopefulness to find a glaze similar to the wood glaze look I found a recipe in ceramics monthly for fake wood ash electric firing.

 

While not perfect, it does work. And if you play with it you can definitely get different finishes from shiny to matt by adjusting the firing temperature and clay bodies. I used speckled clay and it worked beautifully.

 

If anyone wants this recipe let me know or simply look it up in ceramics monthly. It is worth a try if you are feeling that not having a wood fired look is problematic in your repertoire of electric glazing colors.

 

Nelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting, some questions:

How long was the firing? What color development did you get with the mixed woods?

 

Pine tends to give heavy reduction at lower temp but depending on kiln design it can force more oxidation to raise the temp in later stages. Do you have the same experience?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OffCenter    82

Interesting, some questions:

How long was the firing? What color development did you get with the mixed woods?

 

Pine tends to give heavy reduction at lower temp but depending on kiln design it can force more oxidation to raise the temp in later stages. Do you have the same experience?

 

 

Five days. Where the glazing was heaviest: thick snot-gray where it is usually a nice honey-amber. The oak slowed temp rise down, so, yes.

 

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeri    0

Getting much better natural ash glazing using just pine for the anagama instead of pine and oak.

 

 

 

Dear Off Center,

 

Your picture of your cup is absolutely beautiful. I too love wood firing but am limited to electric.

 

I know this is likely not the spot to post this but a few years back in my hopefulness to find a glaze similar to the wood glaze look I found a recipe in ceramics monthly for fake wood ash electric firing.

 

While not perfect, it does work. And if you play with it you can definitely get different finishes from shiny to matt by adjusting the firing temperature and clay bodies. I used speckled clay and it worked beautifully.

 

If anyone wants this recipe let me know or simply look it up in ceramics monthly. It is worth a try if you are feeling that not having a wood fired look is problematic in your repertoire of electric glazing colors.

 

Nelly

 

 

I love the look of a wood firing, and I also am limited to electric (the community studio I use does soda firing two or three times a year).

I would love the recipe, do you happen to remember which issue, or the year you found the recipe? I can go online and search back issues I think. Could be my fist attempt at mixing my own glaze!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nelly    16

Getting much better natural ash glazing using just pine for the anagama instead of pine and oak.

 

 

 

Dear Off Center,

 

Your picture of your cup is absolutely beautiful. I too love wood firing but am limited to electric.

 

I know this is likely not the spot to post this but a few years back in my hopefulness to find a glaze similar to the wood glaze look I found a recipe in ceramics monthly for fake wood ash electric firing.

 

While not perfect, it does work. And if you play with it you can definitely get different finishes from shiny to matt by adjusting the firing temperature and clay bodies. I used speckled clay and it worked beautifully.

 

If anyone wants this recipe let me know or simply look it up in ceramics monthly. It is worth a try if you are feeling that not having a wood fired look is problematic in your repertoire of electric glazing colors.

 

Nelly

 

 

I love the look of a wood firing, and I also am limited to electric (the community studio I use does soda firing two or three times a year).

I would love the recipe, do you happen to remember which issue, or the year you found the recipe? I can go online and search back issues I think. Could be my fist attempt at mixing my own glaze!

 

 

Dear Jeri Lynn,

 

Here is the recipe. I actually phoned this man and spoke to him about his glaze. Know you have to play with it to find the best firing temperature and clay body but I totally love it. It gets me close to the wood firing look.

 

http://www.ceramicartdaily.net/booksales/Electric_Busch.pdf

 

Nelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeri    0

Getting much better natural ash glazing using just pine for the anagama instead of pine and oak.

 

 

 

Dear Off Center,

 

Your picture of your cup is absolutely beautiful. I too love wood firing but am limited to electric.

 

I know this is likely not the spot to post this but a few years back in my hopefulness to find a glaze similar to the wood glaze look I found a recipe in ceramics monthly for fake wood ash electric firing.

 

While not perfect, it does work. And if you play with it you can definitely get different finishes from shiny to matt by adjusting the firing temperature and clay bodies. I used speckled clay and it worked beautifully.

 

If anyone wants this recipe let me know or simply look it up in ceramics monthly. It is worth a try if you are feeling that not having a wood fired look is problematic in your repertoire of electric glazing colors.

 

Nelly

 

 

I love the look of a wood firing, and I also am limited to electric (the community studio I use does soda firing two or three times a year).

I would love the recipe, do you happen to remember which issue, or the year you found the recipe? I can go online and search back issues I think. Could be my fist attempt at mixing my own glaze!

 

 

Dear Jeri Lynn,

 

Here is the recipe. I actually phoned this man and spoke to him about his glaze. Know you have to play with it to find the best firing temperature and clay body but I totally love it. It gets me close to the wood firing look.

 

http://www.ceramicar...ctric_Busch.pdf

 

Nelly

 

 

Nelly,

 

Thank you! I've saved it off, and been reading it, looking around in my little studio (which I still need to take pictures of for another topic) to see where I could find the space to work with trying to mix my own glazes, and well, I think I'm going to take over part of the garage from my husband! I'm also going to talk to the owner of the studio where I rent to see if he's willing to allow me to experiment there. After a mishap with a kiln they had not turning off and EVERYTHING pretty much melting I'm not sure if he's going to feel overly adventurous for a while. But, who knows, he might fool me! I can't wait to get started.

 

Jeri Lynne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nelly    16

Getting much better natural ash glazing using just pine for the anagama instead of pine and oak.

 

 

 

Dear Off Center,

 

Your picture of your cup is absolutely beautiful. I too love wood firing but am limited to electric.

 

I know this is likely not the spot to post this but a few years back in my hopefulness to find a glaze similar to the wood glaze look I found a recipe in ceramics monthly for fake wood ash electric firing.

 

While not perfect, it does work. And if you play with it you can definitely get different finishes from shiny to matt by adjusting the firing temperature and clay bodies. I used speckled clay and it worked beautifully.

 

If anyone wants this recipe let me know or simply look it up in ceramics monthly. It is worth a try if you are feeling that not having a wood fired look is problematic in your repertoire of electric glazing colors.

 

Nelly

 

 

I love the look of a wood firing, and I also am limited to electric (the community studio I use does soda firing two or three times a year).

I would love the recipe, do you happen to remember which issue, or the year you found the recipe? I can go online and search back issues I think. Could be my fist attempt at mixing my own glaze!

 

 

Dear Jeri Lynn,

 

Here is the recipe. I actually phoned this man and spoke to him about his glaze. Know you have to play with it to find the best firing temperature and clay body but I totally love it. It gets me close to the wood firing look.

 

http://www.ceramicar...ctric_Busch.pdf

 

Nelly

 

 

Nelly,

 

Thank you! I've saved it off, and been reading it, looking around in my little studio (which I still need to take pictures of for another topic) to see where I could find the space to work with trying to mix my own glazes, and well, I think I'm going to take over part of the garage from my husband! I'm also going to talk to the owner of the studio where I rent to see if he's willing to allow me to experiment there. After a mishap with a kiln they had not turning off and EVERYTHING pretty much melting I'm not sure if he's going to feel overly adventurous for a while. But, who knows, he might fool me! I can't wait to get started.

 

Jeri Lynne

 

 

Dear Jerri Lynne,

 

When I made this recipe I followed the instructions closely. It makes a huge difference. I mixed the main color with the white as stated. I ended up with a few containers of glaze. As I said, play with it. When you do it on a speckled clay formula it works the best. It is also very durable and I have had no pin holing with this glaze. For me, it is a winner. Some may say you are cheating in not doing a wood fire but for me it was magic. I also added some small sprinkings of wood ash immediately after the glaze was applied (i.e., when it was drying). This also adds another effect. Good luck. And if you can't buy all the ingredients at once or don't want bags and bags of stuff hanging around, just get your clay dealer to whip up a batch and send it to you. This is what I have been doing with the tried and true recipes I use. Good luck.

 

Nelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LilyT    1

Getting much better natural ash glazing using just pine for the anagama instead of pine and oak.

 

 

Oh, my, that is so beautiful. I just have to keep coming back to look at it.

-Lily

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OffCenter    82

Beautiful glaze and clay body.

Thanks for sharing.

Marcia

 

 

Thanks. Just in case anyone is interested, the clay body is Laguna's B-Mix Woodfire. The glaze inside and running off the lip is Nick's Fake Ash (Alberta Slip ... 44, Kaolin ... 25, Whiting ... 31).

 

We're getting better at firing Roger Jamison's anagama (near Macon, GA) so colors are better every firing but the B-Mix Woodfire is, by far, the nicest flashing clay body I've ever used. The following are from the most recent firing.

post-837-134106405819_thumb.jpg

post-837-134106405819_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DBCurley    1

Curious, has anyone tried firing with poplar? Reason I ask, is poplar tends to absorb local minerals and causes amazing coloration to the wood. You can get reds, purple, greens and sometimes a teal-ish color. It eventually subsides once the wood cures, but it made me curious if it would have any effect on a wood firing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LilyT    1

Beautiful glaze and clay body.

Thanks for sharing.

Marcia

 

 

Thanks. Just in case anyone is interested, the clay body is Laguna's B-Mix Woodfire. The glaze inside and running off the lip is Nick's Fake Ash (Alberta Slip ... 44, Kaolin ... 25, Whiting ... 31).

 

We're getting better at firing Roger Jamison's anagama (near Macon, GA) so colors are better every firing but the B-Mix Woodfire is, by far, the nicest flashing clay body I've ever used. The following are from the most recent firing.

 

 

Thank you so much for sharing the glaze recipe! I love the Laguna B-mix woodfire

clay, also. I've never fired a traditional anagama though I've participated in

wood fires of other types. Haven't been as good at getting the lovely flashing you

folks have. Your pieces are so lovely.

 

Would you mind telling us more about your firing? What woods do you use? Your pattern

of temperature rise and reduction state? What it is that you do that seems to improve the

firing? I'd love to hear about your experience.

 

warmest regards,

Lily

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OffCenter    82

Curious, has anyone tried firing with poplar? Reason I ask, is poplar tends to absorb local minerals and causes amazing coloration to the wood. You can get reds, purple, greens and sometimes a teal-ish color. It eventually subsides once the wood cures, but it made me curious if it would have any effect on a wood firing?

 

 

Good question. Usually the colors in any organic material used to fire pots has nothing, or very little, to do with with the color that material gives the pots but it seems to me that if the coloration of poplar is due to the absorbtion of minerals those minerals if concentrated enough would make a difference. But, how do you test for that?

 

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DBCurley    1

Curious, has anyone tried firing with poplar? Reason I ask, is poplar tends to absorb local minerals and causes amazing coloration to the wood. You can get reds, purple, greens and sometimes a teal-ish color. It eventually subsides once the wood cures, but it made me curious if it would have any effect on a wood firing?

 

 

Good question. Usually the colors in any organic material used to fire pots has nothing, or very little, to do with with the color that material gives the pots but it seems to me that if the coloration of poplar is due to the absorbtion of minerals those minerals if concentrated enough would make a difference. But, how do you test for that?

 

Jim

 

 

See, that's the thing. I have no real idea how you could test it in any sort of controlled environment. I've literally cut down poplar that was growing within 4 feet of one another. One had beautiful purple and reds and the other had no coloration at all. It's weird stuff...and sadly, I don't have access to lumber like that anymore since I changed jobs. :/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OffCenter    82

Beautiful glaze and clay body.

Thanks for sharing.

Marcia

 

 

Thanks. Just in case anyone is interested, the clay body is Laguna's B-Mix Woodfire. The glaze inside and running off the lip is Nick's Fake Ash (Alberta Slip ... 44, Kaolin ... 25, Whiting ... 31).

 

We're getting better at firing Roger Jamison's anagama (near Macon, GA) so colors are better every firing but the B-Mix Woodfire is, by far, the nicest flashing clay body I've ever used. The following are from the most recent firing.

 

 

Thank you so much for sharing the glaze recipe! I love the Laguna B-mix woodfire

clay, also. I've never fired a traditional anagama though I've participated in

wood fires of other types. Haven't been as good at getting the lovely flashing you

folks have. Your pieces are so lovely.

 

Would you mind telling us more about your firing? What woods do you use? Your pattern

of temperature rise and reduction state? What it is that you do that seems to improve the

firing? I'd love to hear about your experience.

 

warmest regards,

Lily

 

 

Basically it is simply a matter of holding a huge tunnel kiln at around cone 10 for several days before finishing off at around cone 13 so that ash can form glaze on the pots. So, what we deal with is trying not to over fire the front while bringing the rear up to the same temp as front, etc. Really very simple but lots of work and lots of things to consider (Is the ash bed deep enough? where and how much to stoke?, etc.). Most the firing the kiln is in light reduction. We use pine because that seems to give better color and a nicer glaze than pine and hardwood. Someone is stoking it every few minutes non-stop for 5 or so days, sometimes the main firebox and all the side ports at the about the same time so we have 2 stokers on each 6 hour shift.

 

I'm sure there are other people here with lots more experience with wood firing than I have who could chime in here and maybe the following isn't really new but a potter firing an anagama 50 or so miles from us fires his kiln alone by simply bringing the kiln up to around cone 10 stoking it for 12 or so hours then going to bed and letting the kiln cool down to whatever temp it cools to while he is sleeping then he gets up and does another 12 (or whatever) hour shift, etc. His pots are beautiful.

 

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JBaymore    1,432
I'm sure there are other people here with lots more experience with wood firing than I have who could chime in here and maybe the following isn't really new but a potter firing an anagama 50 or so miles from us fires his kiln alone by simply bringing the kiln up to around cone 10 stoking it for 12 or so hours then going to bed and letting the kiln cool down to whatever temp it cools to while he is sleeping then he gets up and does another 12 (or whatever) hour shift, etc. His pots are beautiful.

 

 

That technique is used by some people in Japan also. I results in improved "layering" of the shizenyu (natural ash glaze). Many times they switch woods on the various "cycles" of heat up and cool down. I was first introduced to the concept also for firing noborigama when Hamada Shinsaku and Hamada Tomoo shared that idea with me.

 

A friend of mine in Japan tried firing anagama with all hiba (a type of Japanese cedar). It produced a pretty bright yellow shizenyu on the dark iron-rich clay. But he told me that the wood produces almost no flyash.... so they consumed more than double the amount of wood from normal to get the necessary buildup.

 

best,

 

......................john

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OffCenter    82
I'm sure there are other people here with lots more experience with wood firing than I have who could chime in here and maybe the following isn't really new but a potter firing an anagama 50 or so miles from us fires his kiln alone by simply bringing the kiln up to around cone 10 stoking it for 12 or so hours then going to bed and letting the kiln cool down to whatever temp it cools to while he is sleeping then he gets up and does another 12 (or whatever) hour shift, etc. His pots are beautiful.

 

 

That technique is used by some people in Japan also. I results in improved "layering" of the shizenyu (natural ash glaze). Many times they switch woods on the various "cycles" of heat up and cool down. I was first introduced to the concept also for firing noborigama when Hamada Shinsaku and Hamada Tomoo shared that idea with me.

 

A friend of mine in Japan tried firing anagama with all hiba (a type of Japanese cedar). It produced a pretty bright yellow shizenyu on the dark iron-rich clay. But he told me that the wood produces almost no flyash.... so they consumed more than double the amount of wood from normal to get the necessary buildup.

 

best,

 

......................john

 

 

Interesting! Thanks for the info. Now, to bombard you with questions: How often do you fire your noborigama? How many days? How many people? What wood? Do you sometimes fire a pot several times?

 

Thanks,

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LilyT    1

Beautiful glaze and clay body.

Thanks for sharing.

Marcia

 

 

Thanks. Just in case anyone is interested, the clay body is Laguna's B-Mix Woodfire. The glaze inside and running off the lip is Nick's Fake Ash (Alberta Slip ... 44, Kaolin ... 25, Whiting ... 31).

 

We're getting better at firing Roger Jamison's anagama (near Macon, GA) so colors are better every firing but the B-Mix Woodfire is, by far, the nicest flashing clay body I've ever used. The following are from the most recent firing.

 

 

Thank you so much for sharing the glaze recipe! I love the Laguna B-mix woodfire

clay, also. I've never fired a traditional anagama though I've participated in

wood fires of other types. Haven't been as good at getting the lovely flashing you

folks have. Your pieces are so lovely.

 

Would you mind telling us more about your firing? What woods do you use? Your pattern

of temperature rise and reduction state? What it is that you do that seems to improve the

firing? I'd love to hear about your experience.

 

warmest regards,

Lily

 

 

Basically it is simply a matter of holding a huge tunnel kiln at around cone 10 for several days before finishing off at around cone 13 so that ash can form glaze on the pots. So, what we deal with is trying not to over fire the front while bringing the rear up to the same temp as front, etc. Really very simple but lots of work and lots of things to consider (Is the ash bed deep enough? where and how much to stoke?, etc.). Most the firing the kiln is in light reduction. We use pine because that seems to give better color and a nicer glaze than pine and hardwood. Someone is stoking it every few minutes non-stop for 5 or so days, sometimes the main firebox and all the side ports at the about the same time so we have 2 stokers on each 6 hour shift.

 

I'm sure there are other people here with lots more experience with wood firing than I have who could chime in here and maybe the following isn't really new but a potter firing an anagama 50 or so miles from us fires his kiln alone by simply bringing the kiln up to around cone 10 stoking it for 12 or so hours then going to bed and letting the kiln cool down to whatever temp it cools to while he is sleeping then he gets up and does another 12 (or whatever) hour shift, etc. His pots are beautiful.

 

Jim

 

 

Hi, Jim,

 

 

 

 

Thank you for sharing these interesting details and ideas! Sorry to have not seen your

 

post earlier - I can't seem to get the list to email me notifications any more… must have

 

crossed one of the web gods somewhere. That's interesting that you hold at cone 10 for

 

several days before finishing off at cone 13. The wood fires I've participated in are in

 

one of the "Laid-back firing" kilns that goes to temp in 20 hours and finishes at cone 10-11;

 

although the throat and areas near the firebox reach cone 13. We get the flashing

 

at the cone 9-11 areas (less in the cone 13 because the ash is so heavy there that almost all

 

the surfaces are completely covered). We usually fire with a mix of pine and hardwoods,

 

whatever is available as scrap from various sources.

 

 

 

 

Your firings sound busy and exciting. We've fired with different people leading the

 

firings and with some folks it's really relaxed and with some it's stoke-stoke-stoke every

 

couple minutes - can't say either is cross the board superior, there's so many variables

 

to consider. We fire in neutral to light reduction until near the end, then finish in oxidation

 

before closing up for cooldown.

 

 

 

 

Could you explain the concept our your firing goals with the ash bed? We actually have

 

to avoid too deep an ash bed because it chokes the oxygen flow until it burns down enough,

 

maybe the design of this kiln?

 

 

 

 

I LOVE the idea of firing while convenient and letting it cool down to sleep then continuing!

 

Why not??? Many pieces go through wood firings in our kiln more than once, so this

 

temperature rise and fall shouldn't be intrinsically bad for the pots. Well, the outside of the

 

kiln will get hotter, but not in comparison to a 5 day firing. I should love to try this. Do

 

you know if the kiln is closed with an ember bed still burning during the sleep part of the

 

firing?

 

 

 

 

When you say his pots are beautiful, I am ready to be impressed.

 

 

 

 

-Lily

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LilyT    1

 

 

Interesting! Thanks for the info. Now, to bombard you with questions: How often do you fire your noborigama? How many days? How many people? What wood? Do you sometimes fire a pot several times?

 

Thanks,

Jim

 

 

Ditto!

Thanks,

Lily

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OffCenter    82

Beautiful glaze and clay body.

Thanks for sharing.

Marcia

 

 

Thanks. Just in case anyone is interested, the clay body is Laguna's B-Mix Woodfire. The glaze inside and running off the lip is Nick's Fake Ash (Alberta Slip ... 44, Kaolin ... 25, Whiting ... 31).

 

We're getting better at firing Roger Jamison's anagama (near Macon, GA) so colors are better every firing but the B-Mix Woodfire is, by far, the nicest flashing clay body I've ever used. The following are from the most recent firing.

 

 

Thank you so much for sharing the glaze recipe! I love the Laguna B-mix woodfire

clay, also. I've never fired a traditional anagama though I've participated in

wood fires of other types. Haven't been as good at getting the lovely flashing you

folks have. Your pieces are so lovely.

 

Would you mind telling us more about your firing? What woods do you use? Your pattern

of temperature rise and reduction state? What it is that you do that seems to improve the

firing? I'd love to hear about your experience.

 

warmest regards,

Lily

 

 

Basically it is simply a matter of holding a huge tunnel kiln at around cone 10 for several days before finishing off at around cone 13 so that ash can form glaze on the pots. So, what we deal with is trying not to over fire the front while bringing the rear up to the same temp as front, etc. Really very simple but lots of work and lots of things to consider (Is the ash bed deep enough? where and how much to stoke?, etc.). Most the firing the kiln is in light reduction. We use pine because that seems to give better color and a nicer glaze than pine and hardwood. Someone is stoking it every few minutes non-stop for 5 or so days, sometimes the main firebox and all the side ports at the about the same time so we have 2 stokers on each 6 hour shift.

 

I'm sure there are other people here with lots more experience with wood firing than I have who could chime in here and maybe the following isn't really new but a potter firing an anagama 50 or so miles from us fires his kiln alone by simply bringing the kiln up to around cone 10 stoking it for 12 or so hours then going to bed and letting the kiln cool down to whatever temp it cools to while he is sleeping then he gets up and does another 12 (or whatever) hour shift, etc. His pots are beautiful.

 

Jim

 

 

Hi, Jim,

 

 

 

 

Thank you for sharing these interesting details and ideas! Sorry to have not seen your

 

post earlier - I can't seem to get the list to email me notifications any more… must have

 

crossed one of the web gods somewhere. That's interesting that you hold at cone 10 for

 

several days before finishing off at cone 13. The wood fires I've participated in are in

 

one of the "Laid-back firing" kilns that goes to temp in 20 hours and finishes at cone 10-11;

 

although the throat and areas near the firebox reach cone 13. We get the flashing

 

at the cone 9-11 areas (less in the cone 13 because the ash is so heavy there that almost all

 

the surfaces are completely covered). We usually fire with a mix of pine and hardwoods,

 

whatever is available as scrap from various sources.

 

 

 

 

Your firings sound busy and exciting. We've fired with different people leading the

 

firings and with some folks it's really relaxed and with some it's stoke-stoke-stoke every

 

couple minutes - can't say either is cross the board superior, there's so many variables

 

to consider. We fire in neutral to light reduction until near the end, then finish in oxidation

 

before closing up for cooldown.

 

 

 

 

Could you explain the concept our your firing goals with the ash bed? We actually have

 

to avoid too deep an ash bed because it chokes the oxygen flow until it burns down enough,

 

maybe the design of this kiln?

 

 

 

 

I LOVE the idea of firing while convenient and letting it cool down to sleep then continuing!

 

Why not??? Many pieces go through wood firings in our kiln more than once, so this

 

temperature rise and fall shouldn't be intrinsically bad for the pots. Well, the outside of the

 

kiln will get hotter, but not in comparison to a 5 day firing. I should love to try this. Do

 

you know if the kiln is closed with an ember bed still burning during the sleep part of the

 

firing?

 

 

 

 

When you say his pots are beautiful, I am ready to be impressed.

 

 

 

 

-Lily

 

 

 

 

Hi Lily... I'm certainly no expert on wood firing. I've only had experience with one anagama and one way of firing. (That's why I'm hoping John Baymore will revisit this thread.) The long firing time is simply to give it time for wood ash glaze to form on the pots. Shiho Kanzaki does 10-day anagama woodfiring ($6,000 for his run-of-the-mill pots). The only part of the kiln I don't like is the very front where it gets up to a flat cone 13 and way too much ash glaze for me, but for some pots that looks good. Most of the rest of the kiln gets nice glazing juxtaposed with flashed areas. I'm surprised you guys get much glazing with such a short firing cycle. The guy firing his kiln alone and letting it cool down while he sleeps gets a very nice slightly iridescent glaze. He says it is important to keep a thick ember bed. I'm pretty sure when he closes the kiln up to go to sleep he leaves a thick ember bed. It seems to me that you could take out a few bricks and replace with removeable soft brick to solve the problem of the ember bed chocking off air. Thanks for the info about your firings and i hope the next one is a great one.

 

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JBaymore    1,432

 

Interesting! Thanks for the info. Now, to bombard you with questions: How often do you fire your noborigama? How many days? How many people? What wood? Do you sometimes fire a pot several times?

 

Thanks,

Jim

 

 

Jim (and Lily),

 

Sorry for very late reply.... been away and very busy. Plus missed the questions here in this thread.

 

The number of firings a year varies. Many years ago it was fired pretty consistently 5-6 times a year. As time has gone on and my prices (and skills) have risen and my (ahem.... ;) ) age has also risen, it is more typically 3-4 times a year now in recent times. This year (2012) I have not yet fired it at all !!!!

 

I was taken unexpectedly ill back in January and it kicked the crap out of me for a very long time. After a little while off, I was barely able to teach my three college classes.... one of which was only a ceramic art history lecture-type one. I was not allowed to drive for a few weeks and my wife had to drive me to the school. I was on exercise restrictions. Wedging 2 pounds of clay for a demo literally wore me out. It took me a day to recover from simply teaching three classes the day before. Awful.

 

I am only just getting back to almost normal. So my winter production this year was literally non-existant, and I have been shipping work for exhibitions and such out of my my backstock. I was invited to present/show at the Mungyeong teabowl festival in S. Korea in late April/early May so I was off there and then to Japan for a month... so that has also delayed recovering my production here. So this year likely it will end up maybe being only 2-3 firings. Bad .... but there is nothing I can really do about it.

 

My firings cycle is for a nobori.....unlike anagama. So it is realitively short cycle. Typically about a 42-44 hour cycle from cold to last chamber completed. Then a 3 day cooling period. The last chamber (or the last two chambers) are usually fired using a youhen charcoal technique (ala Bizen-yaki) so all those many pounds of hardwood charcoal added at the end of the stoking really retards the cooling a lot on the back end of the kiln as it slowly burns off............... as well as slightly slowing the cooling of the chamber BEFORE the ones with the charcoal due to heat energy leakage through the common wall.

 

I used to use only pine and hemlock to fire for years and years and years. I got it all from sawmill scrap. Some from a mill about 3 miles from here. For about 30 years, every scrap of wood burned in that kiln was waste wood.....destined for landfills to be burned in big piles and accomplish absolutely nothing with it. The mills loved me.... they didn't have to pay to dump it. With some wood cut from my own property and some blowdown.

 

I still love firing with pure pine ..... the flame is very active and long with great volitiles ..... and great ash...... but it is unfortunately the smokiest wood there is. And I am getting concerned with the visuals as the area around me here gets less and less rural. Plus the lumber wood industry here in southern NH has completely died off..... so the sourcing for lots of nice pine slab and edgings has pretty much dried up for me.

 

So I now am mainly using a combination of maple and oak hardwood, with pine and hemlock as the "finishing" wood. I get as much scrap wood from mills and such as I can (going much futrther afield to get this) and cut some stuff off my own land and also use the blow-down that the winters produce on my property. And I also now buy some prepared wood from one local woodcutter.

 

I have one part-time apprentice/friend that helps me fire most of the time now. He has been with me about 12 years now. He also recently got his BFA from the college I teach at. The two of us can easily handle the kiln. I designed it and built it with the intent of being able to fire it totally by myself. And many times I have done so and I still do so. The last firing last early winter I did all by myself. It is WAY tougher now that I am older (;) ).... but still doable. Not sure how much longer that will be possible....... but we'll see.

 

As to refiring pieces.... yes, absolutely. Years and years ago in the rural area around Mashiko in Japan I came across a potter that was making work that was astonishing in that there were more feldspathic and quartz rocks in his claybody than there was clay. The work totally intrigued me. I began experimenting wit hthe idea using local granite and quartz. REALLY tough to form....... and high failure rate...... but the firing results are worth it. I have found that those pieces require between 7 and 9 firings in my kiln in either the stackabl;e area in the dogi or the first chamber to reach full "maturity". After only one firing the pieces could be used in place of a Surform rasp (;) )!

 

SO... there you have it.

 

best,

 

.........................john

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LilyT    1

 

Hi Lily... I'm certainly no expert on wood firing. I've only had experience with one anagama and one way of firing. (That's why I'm hoping John Baymore will revisit this thread.) The long firing time is simply to give it time for wood ash glaze to form on the pots. Shiho Kanzaki does 10-day anagama woodfiring ($6,000 for his run-of-the-mill pots). The only part of the kiln I don't like is the very front where it gets up to a flat cone 13 and way too much ash glaze for me, but for some pots that looks good. Most of the rest of the kiln gets nice glazing juxtaposed with flashed areas. I'm surprised you guys get much glazing with such a short firing cycle. The guy firing his kiln alone and letting it cool down while he sleeps gets a very nice slightly iridescent glaze. He says it is important to keep a thick ember bed. I'm pretty sure when he closes the kiln up to go to sleep he leaves a thick ember bed. It seems to me that you could take out a few bricks and replace with removeable soft brick to solve the problem of the ember bed chocking off air. Thanks for the info about your firings and i hope the next one is a great one.

 

Jim

 

 

 

Hi, Jim,

I meant to thank you for the information about the thick ember bed! And the suggestion

about removing a brick here and there. The bottleneck is between the firebox and the first

teeny chamber (throat) before the space opens into the main chamber. Although there's

no room to remove any bricks there at this time... there is always the redesign to consider

when this kiln needs to be fixed up. I think I also read somewhere that some kilns are

made to fire with a small ember bed and this is one of them (I do not totally understand whether

this means it can function without many embers, which it certainly can, or that it

can't handle thick accumulation. Or both :-))

As for your comment about the short firing cycle and glaze accumulation. I would say

that a third of this kiln doesn't get heavy glaze effect. I had read that the *bark* is the

part of the wood that has the most minerals and therefore flux in it. Coincidentally, and

fortunately, lumbermill scrap has pieces with lots of bark available.... :-) Maybe this is the

reason for getting enough glaze effect in a short firing?

 

Would love t' see more of your items when you fire again! And hear about

the experience.

 

cheers,

-Lily

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×