kiln opening // wood firing / tafe

A couple of times a year our tafe fires up the wood fire kiln, only this year there was a delay due to occupational health and safety red tape B.S. The problem was that the beams supporting the roof where to close to the chimney. The regulations have been adjusted again and now there needs to be a 60cm clearance between any roof beam and kiln chimney, and the beams are not allowed to be left in place and shielded by metal, they need to be completely removed and the roof restructured. Even though this kiln has been fired for 15 years without incident, and the flames don’t even come anywhere near those beams, that is the purpose of the chimney being there in the first place. Why do people feel the need to make things more complicated for themselves, why bring in ridiculous rules just incase some ridiculous scenario happens where flame burst out the side of a double brick chimney and set the tin roof on fire. This sort of nonsense makes me lose faith in the human race, and don’t even get me started on high-vis safety wear, do we really need more ugly crap filling up the world, I think people were coping just fine before everyone was wearing fluro vests.

I digress, we finally got approved to just uses the kiln anyway, we got there in the end, just proving that it was a whole waste of time (but hopefully someone felt important, and in control). Anyway the firing went really well, it all went to plan and finished up sooner than expected with both top and bottom cone 11 bending almost identically which everyone was pleased with. And 5 days later was the big kiln opening, and here it is!

The two bowls of mine at the end were a Chun or Jun glaze that was not friends with RGH clay, it was one tested in our glaze class from another students glaze assignment on Chun glazes, it was fine on the test tile, but not so fine in the wood fire kiln on iron rich clay. Other people also used it on their white stoneware pots in this wood firing and it was definitely to fluid but it didn’t run completely off like these. I suspect it to be the iron in the RGH clay adding to the flux of the glaze and tipping it over the edge. Usually Chun glazes are used on iron rich glaze which helps with the blue optical colour, but this was not the case. I would like to do further test with this though and make it more stable, because it is actually a really beautiful opalescent white glaze, when it’s not being used to glaze a kiln shelf, oops!


About MOUNTAINpottery

Mountain Pottery is designed and handmade by Deanne Sarita Smart. The studio is located in a small town of Sassafras in the Mountains of Australia. This pottery is made to be collected, loved and used everyday as some of your most treasured belongings. Each piece is unique and made to order. Aside from being beautiful and functional objects, each collection has an underlying meaning, message or intention. All the vessels are inspired in some way by myth, nature, and symbolic language. About this blog // This blog is designed to be a place of inspiration to others with the same interests and point of view, as well as a look into the creation of Mountain Pottery.

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