My Last Wood Firing

I have just completed my last wood firing before my show at Watters Gallery that is coming up very soon. Opening on the 16th of August. I managed to sneak in one of my own firings through my kiln in-between the two low temperature wood firing weekends. I woke up exceptionally early for this firing for some unknown reason. I usually get started early around 4.00 am, but on this occasion I’m wide awake at 3.00 am. So I get up and down to the kiln and get started. No reason to just lay in bed waiting for 4 am. It all goes very well, smooth and easy. Everything just so.

I have all the wood prepared before hand and stacked on the truck just outside the kiln shed. I work through the hours of the late night/early morning. There is a solid  chill in the still air. It gets decidedly colder closer to the dawn. I have to wrap a towel around my neck in place of a scarf. I didn’t bring a scarf down to the kiln shed with me when I came dawn, and I don’t want to go back into the bedroom and risk waking Janine.

The kiln isn’t warm enough yet to give off any heat, even though I’m snuggling up close to it, there is very little reward. I can hear the dawn about to break in the sudden emergence of bird song from the surrounding trees. The birds know what time it is, even though it is still dark to my eyes.

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I loaded my truck with hob wood for this firing yesterday and parked just outside the kiln shed. One load like this is enough to fire my kiln. Today I’m using a mixture of half local pine, one quarter Stringybark from our land and the other quarter is cherry ballard from just near the wood shed. Although the truck is just outside, I can’t see it in the dark, as there is no moon showing through the cloud tonight. However, as the dawn breaks the truck become visible, and through out the day, as the firing progresses, we slowly whittle away at the stack until it is almost gone. Just enough in reserve to allow for contingencies. The chickens are always hanging around to help us do what ever it is that we are doing. Today they are fascinated by kiln firing and wood stacking. You never can tell when a termite or cockroach might appear from under the bark of a piece of wood.

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The morning breaks to reveal a lovely frost.