Sunday, April 30, 2006

NCPC Auction 2006

North Carolina Pottery Center had an annual fund raising event "Auction" on April 29th (Sat) and there were many many people who came to get ceramics by auction. All ceramic works were donated by collectors or potters and people can bid in their favorite one.

It was very interesting event for us because we don't think art auction is very common in Japan as far as we know.

In the gallery

Jazz Band!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Unloading kiln 2

It was rainy morning, and the second chamber seems cool enough for unloading, so I took down brick door in this afternoon.

There are many good results, but also bad pots.
I have learned so much from this firing which happens every single firing.

You never be able to understand wood firing, that's why people are crazy about it from long time ago.

Hitomi's bowls

Hitomi's Cups

Takuro's clay tests

He is researching local wild clays and looking for good clays for the wood firing

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Unloading kiln 1

The kiln is still warm, but we started unloading for the first chamber today. When open up the doore bricks, I was very nervous and also exited.

Suddenly many pots showed up and they looked very good.
These photo are just several works in the first chamber.

Hitomi's large bowls

Takuro's unglazed large jar

teabowl in the kiln
We will unload the second (salt) chamber tomorrow.
Can't wait to see it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The second Nobori Gama firing

We decided to have Nobori Gama firing in the end of April at NCPC, and it's been for 4 months since we had the last one.

It was right before my research trip to UK in Dec 2005 when I had the first Nobori Gama firing, very cold, nasty weather at that time. This time was also unfortunate weather because we had thunderstorm at loading kiln.

We started loading kiln on friday early evening and it's done on Saturday 7:00 pm. It took long time for just loading, but you can't cut the corner on this stage. It's very important to take time for loading because it's the key how the firing goes well.

the second chamber (salt chamber)

Started pre-heating by gas burner, it took 5 hours and we we could take rest during pre-heating.

Start making firing by thin wood from Saturday, 12:00 am. Takuro took care of it till 7:00 am. Hitomi came to Nobori Gama, then Takuro out to get sleep.

9:30 am, the fastest place of conepax reach 010, so that took our the passive dampers and closed gate damper a bit in order to make strong reduction atmosphere in the kiln. Also stoking cycle was quicker than before.

12:00 pm, Takuro in, started stoking wood from both sides alternately.

1:00 pm, our friend Joe Cole who is a Seagrove young potter came to help us, and took care of firing till 4:30 which is kind of him.

Around 4:00 pm, cone 9 & 10 started moving. We changed stoking cycle a little bit slow, so that temperature was slow climbing till 6:00 pm. This action is called "You" which means "Drank" in English. I believe it makes the atmosphere rich.

6:40 pm, started stoking wood for the second chamber as well as the first chamber. This is the busyest time for stoking.

7:10 pm, some cone 6 in the second chamber started moving, so we stoke 8 pouds of rock salt for several times in the second chamber.

7:40 pm, the first chamber was done. Stoke a large amount of wood in the fire box, then shift to the second chamber.

There are lot of defference of temperature in the second chamber, so it was hard to get even.

9:10 pm, cone 11 of door side down in the second chamber, but wall side was yet. Kept stoking wood with high pitch.

9:20 pm, we took out the second color rings from the second chamber. It looked OK, good clay color and melt salt enough.

9:30 pm, the last cone 10 down finally, and stopped firing.

It's been very tiring, hard firing for 25 hours, but we had good effect from this firing. Can't wait to see in it on Wednesday evening.

just wait for unloading