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Various wood fired pots

Here are a few photos of when some friends and I who built 2 wood firing kilns get together. We built an anagama style 80 cubic ft tube kiln, and then a 36 cubic ft cantenary arch side firing wood-salt kiln. The kilns belong to four friends who have given me choice access to firing it because of our past wood firing experience together and the fact that I spent a number of weekends actually helping them build the kilns from the ground up.

Firing a wood kiln is a LOT of work. First things first, you must clean and wash all shelves & posts, and mix up wadding for the posts, shelves, and pots to rest on. Here I am cleaning up some bricks to use a posts. Notice how I'm wearing a respirator. There are many things you do not want to breathe in while cleaning up wood kiln furniture for use. Next comes pot preparation, glazing and loading. Here I am glazing a tea cup with "Old Black Magic" Tenmoku. All pots in a wood firing are fired on small clay ball feet or "wads" to keep the pots from sticking to the shelves from melted wood ash. I like to glaze the interior of all my pots, and I also use a variety of slips designed to promote wood fire flashing.

The loading process can take quite a while. The wadding an placement of each pot is critical to their eventual outcome. When the kiln is stacked, and the door bricks placed, we are ready to fire. We'll slowly take the kiln up to cone 10 over the next 24 hours, starting out only stoking the front stokebox, and eventually moving back to put wood in the side stokeholes as the color and heat of the front moves back through the stack. 


Once above cone 10, we'll start cycles of reduction and oxidation for the next 2 1/2 to 3 days, 24 hours a day, until cone 13 is over in the front, and at least 10 is over all the way back and through the kiln. In the large anagama, we'll burn through a good 5 cords of wood in a firing. After firing, we cool the kiln for a week. This are some of the longest weeks of my life.. Opening a wood kiln firing is like opening a treasure chest. There are so many surprises. It's hard work, but the results are worth it.


Some of my favorite wood fire slip & glaze recipes

Old Black Magic Tenmoku Tony's Blaze Slip Thorbjorn Bronze Slip Pumice Jade Celadon  
7.2 - Om4 Ball Clay
58.7 - Custer Feldspar
21.7 - Flint (silica)
12.4 - Whiting
1 - Tin Oxide
7.7 - Iron Oxide
41 - Nepheline Syenite
41 - Calcined alumina
12.5 - Epk
5.5 - Bentonite

nice bright orange slip use thin

27.7 - Black copper oxide
45.46 - Manganese dioxide
18.18 - Epk
9.09 - Om4 ball clay

Apply to bisque, can run

80 - Pumice
20 - Wollastonite
2 - Bentonite

Stir well!

How every firing should end ~ sake party in the kiln!!!

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