Wood-fired Kiln Opening

We will be unloading our wood-fired kiln on Thursday, June 14.  The pots will be available in the gallery beginning Friday, June 15.

Usually we unload the kiln as soon as it is cool, then display the pots in the gallery with little fanfare. This year we fired this kiln in early May, and have struggled to find a time to un-brick the door and unload the pots.  Since seven weeks have passed, we are more excited to get in there and see what happened.  It feels appropriate to highlight these pots and allow others to see them at the same time we do.  Reading each pot reveals something about the firing and we are inviting people to the gallery to go through that process together

Wood is the traditional fuel to fire pottery and right now the we are the only potters in Door County firing with wood.  Our wood kiln is a two-chambered, catenary arch kiln that holds about 500 pots.  During a firing the kiln is stoked every 5-7 minutes, around the clock.  The firings last about 30 hours and the kiln reaches a temperature of 2400º F.  The prolonged heat, ash accumulation, and kiln atmosphere produces a rich, varied, and somewhat unpredictable surface that can be achieved through no other method.

We know what is in the kiln: mugs, vases, plates, bowls; the functional shapes that make up the bulk of our work.  But unloading the kiln always provides some surprises.  What do the glazes look like?  How did the flame move though the chamber?  What marks did it leave on the pots?  How much ash accumulated onto pieces?  Discovering those answers is what is exciting about kiln openings.

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