Monday, November 9, 2009

A new appreciation...

-top left: Mike & Ashley in the studio  -top center: Mike on the wheel  -top right: pre-fired ware
-middle left: my mug & teapot  -middle right: the stack on the kiln at 10pm
-bottom left: infuser in the teapot  -bottom middle: teapot lid  -bottom right: fired ware

   After this wood firing I have a new appreciation for my husband and what he does.  When we had our pottery in NY we had a small electric kiln.  My husband has always talked about building a wood kiln.  He would try to tell me how much fun it was and how much work it was.  We recently moved into a wonderful farmhouse with a pottery already set up and a wood kiln in the back.
   He decided that this weekend was going to be the weekend we fired her up.  We had gorgeous weather for it.  Usually you would have a group of people to fire a kiln.  The people who lived here before us would have about 10 people to fire the kiln.  There is a port on each side that needs to be fed with wood every couple of minutes.  The kiln gets to about 2300 degrees Fahrenheit.  So you can imagine that it is very uncomfortable.  You have to watch the coals to make sure you don't get the stoke hole plugged.  That means you need to rake and shovel the coals very frequently.  Mike (my husband) started the kiln at about 5am Saturday.  One of his friends stopped in for a few hours in the afternoon. I joined him after I fed the kids dinner, and we had an assistant from about 5pm to 12:30am.  We stopped firing at about 2:30am Sunday.  Mike fired that kiln on his own for a lot of the day.  I was only there for part of it, and I have been having a hard time moving because of all the body aches.
   Hand thrown pottery is very valuable and beautiful.  Wood fired pieces are usually a bit more money, and I always understood it.  Now I appreciate it.  Now I think wood fired pieces are undervalued!  If anyone ever gets the opportunity to help fire a wood kiln, do it!  It was fun, it was work, and it produced some beautiful ware!  I was especially happy with my teapot & mug.  He always throws me something special.  I always get first pick.

To see more on the firing and get some more details visit his blog at...

Keep an eye on his shop to purchase pieces...


  1. Very interesting post. I love pottery. Didn't realize there was a difference. The teapot is gorgeous. I'm originally from NY too. Missing it, esp. this time of year.

  2. wonderful post and LOVE the stack photo- you need to add it to his photos on etsy- it will get snagged up for a treasury and into the shop they will come (;
    p.s. let me know if you add it- i may snag it!

  3. Fantastic work... and love the blog. Now following you, found you on Twitter. My blog is if you are interested in following back.

  4. Awesome photo of the stack.
    I assisted in a wood firing once, MANY years ago.
    It was HARD & HOT work. I'll never forget it! It was
    fun too. We had teams of 3-4, stoking the kiln at all times.
    It was a joint effort as we all had pieces at stake. I
    have a special place in my heart for the clay family- especially
    the wood fire-ers.



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