Ashes to ashes....Pots to pots

ABCarve

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Here we go again

Well the weather been cold and time for a good fire.
Pic 1Friday Feb 21- Kiln has been loaded and a small fire is started outside the kiln. As the fire burns down the coals are pushed through the draft holes and into the fire box.

Pic 2 College student buffet.

Pic 3 Outside temp is 5 F. and a crowd is stating to form to enjoy the campfire.
 

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ABCarve

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4:00 am Saturday Feb 22 - The small campfire outside the kiln has been taken down and stoking the firebox directing is now being done in earnest. Cone 010 has fallen and 08 is getting ready. Air Temp is about 1650 F.
 

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ABCarve

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7:30 PM Saturday Feb 22. Cone 10 has fallen and 11 is getting ready. Air temp is about 2350 F. The fire is consuming a wheel barrow load of wood about every 15 minutes.
It's time for a dead bonsai tree!!
It took approx 1 min. for the fire to consume my dead Colorado Alpine fir.
 

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ABCarve

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4:00 pm Sunday afternoon Feb 23 outside temp -5 F.- After maintaining 2400 F. for about 10 hours the kiln is shut down and sealed by bricking up the opening and covering with newspaper and a mix of fire clay.
 

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ABCarve

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Thursday late afternoon Feb 27. 6 days from the start. - Kiln temp is still 350 F. Kilnmaster breaks the seal to take a peak and let some air in. Christmas comes early for those trying to see what the kiln gods have left in the wake of the fire.
 

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ABCarve

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7:00 pm Thursday night - The bricks are taken down from the opening, coals and ashes are shoveled away from the fire box. Everyone gets to open their presents.... Approx 350 pots. Mine is the one on the right.
 

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ABCarve

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A new pot for an old ceremony

A look in the daylight. There is no glaze on this pot (porcelain this time around) . All the color, including the runs are from the wood ash fluxing on the pot.

Oncidium finishing up an unusual winter bloom. New spring sprays are starting. 6mm aluminum wire arranged in pot for fixing long sprays to keep them from breaking. They can get unwieldy.
 

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youngsai

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Very cool thread

ABCarve really good thread, best for me in awhile. And poetic as well, your posts read like the crying of a bard... I really enjoyed reading about it, anymore? That kid who made the porcelain head that looked really well done.

Suddenly I'm very bored by field of study of modern chemical engineering, and much rather wish I was studying ancient chemical engineering ;)

I'm chomping at the bit for more... got more pics or stories!?
 

edprocoat

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Did you end up using the warped pot, that is a beautiful piece IMO. I bet it would look spectacular with the right tree in it. Something root up with gnarly roots, maybe even a Bougie or azalea with some color to offset the finish. Even a bright green foliage tree with a whitish trunk.

ed
 

ABCarve

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ABCarve really good thread, best for me in awhile. And poetic as well, your posts read like the crying of a bard... I really enjoyed reading about it, anymore? That kid who made the porcelain head that looked really well done.

Suddenly I'm very bored by field of study of modern chemical engineering, and much rather wish I was studying ancient chemical engineering ;)

I'm chomping at the bit for more... got more pics or stories!?
I was bored as well......This ceramics thing is all about chemistry with the added thrill of an infinite amount of variables in firing. A kiln is like a box of chocolates.......I think you know the rest.
 

ABCarve

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Did you end up using the warped pot, that is a beautiful piece IMO. I bet it would look spectacular with the right tree in it. Something root up with gnarly roots, maybe even a Bougie or azalea with some color to offset the finish. Even a bright green foliage tree with a whitish trunk.

ed
Thanks ed, but its not my cup of tea. It still waiting for a good home.
 

ABCarve

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@Anthony OK. So here is the next installment for wood firing. This is a Train kiln. It is called that because it looks like a train. It's design is fairly recent and makes firing more efficient the the traditional anagama kiln shown previously. It will use approximately 1 cord of wood, opposed to 4 cords in the anagama. It is loaded from the side where you can see the door that has been bricked up in the middle. Pots loaded to the left is closer to the fire and receives more ash. Loaded to the right receives less ash. Sorry I forgot to take photos of the loading. The fire was started at 1:00pm Friday in the ash pit, which is the small lower door on the left to slowing warm the kiln and get a good bed of ashes. That door has now been bricked up. My shift starts Saturday morning at 4:00am till 8:00am. Outside air temp is 22 F.IMG_2471.JPG
 

ABCarve

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This is the middle of my shift and the inside temperature is around 1500 F. /815 C. in the front of the kiln. The back is around 200 degrees cooler. This temperature variant won't start to even out until it reaches aprox. 2100 F. /1150 C. The wood burning in the upper chamber will fall through the grates and tumble down the ash steps shown in previous post, making them airborne and blowing onto the pots. Airflow is controlled by various holes in front of the combustion chamber. I'll show in the next post
Cone packs go from 010 to 12. No cones have fallen yet. My next shift is 4:00am Sunday. It will be much more interesting as the temps go higher and higher.IMG_2467.JPGIMG_2470.JPG
 

Anthony

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Love it @ABCarve !!

Some tine in the 70's a chap did Solar Firing.
The article was on -line.
Unfortunately Trnidad is very cloudy, so never could
try.

Chemistry - there is an ash glaze base for under 980 deg.C

What was done down here was a fusion of enamel and pottery
glazing. Durability and vitreous clay bodies at low temperatures.
Fewer $$$$$ more profit [ for non bonsai things ]
Also brought in moulds [ plaster of paris ] to handle multiple
bonsai pots .Home cast.

Bonsai cost factor = very little.
Will be reading.
Thank you.
Anthony

* brother-law - K - used to do Still life paintings, the object cost
was very high. So he started making the wares for the images,
Placed them in his multiple figurative imaginative paintings.That
started folk asking about the ornaments, and eventual sales of
the vases, etc.
 

ABCarve

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These two photos are from Sunday morning 4:00am, the beginning of my shift. It has now been 39 hours of continuous firing. The extra firing time is because they want an added build-up of ash on the pots. I'm glad I put mine in the back of the kiln. The rear of the fire box shows how air is controlled to the fire and ash pit. We have burned approx. 2 cords of wood so far. As the ashes keep piling up in the bottom of the pit the upper ports are opened to keep a supply of air flowing over the ashes. The 4 lower ports are being poked at and will be closed soon. Only two are kept open to keep the air velocity up. Same is true for the fire box ports, only two are kept open. These are just moved around to keep the pile of burning wood as hot as possible. The fire is consuming a heaping wheel barrow load about every 20 minute now.
The pyrometer shows the temp F. in the front and back of the kiln. Now wood for the fire box is split quite small for more rapid burning. We're starting to bring the back temp up by side stoking. This is done by putting smaller pieces of wood through small ports in the opposite side of the kilns pot chamber. Small spaces have been left absent of pots to accommodate the falling sticks of wood. This draws heat to the back. The pyrometer only shows you air temp in the kiln. The cones show you heat over time and some call it heat/work. The front of the kiln will reach approx. 2400 F. / 1315 C.
IMG_2472.JPGIMG_2474.JPG
 

ABCarve

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The firing was completed Sunday afternoon more than 48 hours from the start. All the ports have closed to keep the cold air out while it slowly cools. The pyrometer shows the current temp. after more than 24 hours of cooling. The kiln will be opened Friday morning. Early Christmas for all involved. Stay tuned!IMG_2479.JPGIMG_2480.JPG
 

vancehanna

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ABcarve and all: I'm so glad to see the plethora of Americans going after the idea of creating pottery. I know that for the past thirty years we've seen a upward mobile society looking for domestic potters now in the bonsai realm. Certainly unique and yes expressive styles are of interest (S.Raner, M. Hagedorn and others) yet almost direct 'copies' of the classics are not without admiration. I took a year long study of wheel thrown and slab built pots back in the late 80's at the Birmingham/Bloomfield Art Assoc. Their kiln cone 12, was a fairly large gas fired outdoor unit but because of the amount of space I was allocated just what would be 'left over spaces' and decided to hang it up. My hope is to find another Art association nearby and begin producing primarily slab built pots. Here's a few of the photos I kept. The chop is a translated version of my name by a Japanese gentleman I'd met as a youth in NYC years ago. I carved it into a linoleum block and then fastened it to a woodblock for strength. celadon_pot.jpg I would enjoy seeing increased numbers of American potters taking this as a serious opportunity to service a growing domestic Art market.
 

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ABCarve

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Well...Friday......1 week after loading. Climbing into the mouth of the beast. Cone 12 mostly down. Lets see what firing has brought.
IMG_2485.JPGIMG_2483.JPGIMG_2487.JPG
 
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