Sunday, July 26, 2009

Kiln Building Update 7/26

It was really hot today, so that even just being outside was very tiring. Our son, Mr. K was very fussy because of the heat, so Takuro or me had to play with him and make him happy all day long. We wish we could afford to have swimming pool next to wood kiln.

Our good friend, Jeff Dean came to help this afternoon, too. It's not great time to work for kiln because way too hot, but he helped us a lot. Thank you, Jeff.

We were able to finish up putting plywood! It looks like a boat, or whale.

It's not related to kiln building, but New Bedford, MA where we used to live has a Whaling Museum in down town. New Bedford was a historic whaling industry town in 19th.
Mr. Grumpy played with water and sand

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Kiln Building Update 7/25

Just quick update, we got finished bamboo work today! Our good friends, Wayne Shiver and David Stuempfle came to help us and it looked very good. Our good friend, Jeff Dean came to help us in the afternoon and we were able to put some plywood. Thank you all for your great help. It's kind of sad we have to cover bamboo by plywood on top, also all wooden structure will be taken down eventually after putting arch bricks.

Watch your step!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Kiln Building Update 7/24

Takuro has been working on wooden frames this week. It's getting stronger and stronger because this will support tons of brick arch weight. We want to finish up this work this weekend and hope we can put two more layers on Anagama wall.

The small guy is waving hand "bye"

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kiln Building Update 7/19

We had a little bit relax morning today. Walk, eat, and hang around kiln site, and when our son started taking nap around 1pm or so, we started working on kiln really hard. Takuro adjusted bamboo, I started laying bricks and mortal on 2nd chamber where Anagama arch will attach. Then we got Eddie Bernard (Wet Dog Glass, LLC) and Nick Fruin (STARworks Glass Lab) came to help us. They knew what Takuro wanted for this Bamboo structure and started building posts as if they have built before. We are very lucky we have very nice friends who have creative skills and also point of view.
Nick said this looks like fish bone! We really like that.

Someone said I (Hitomi) just take photo and no work, so I put this photo to proof (just kidding).

Also you might think this is too complicated design and no one wants to do like this. I kind of agree it, but want to say this. Shigaraki potters make like this shape Anagama in this way and they make nice unglazed (Yakishime) pots through the history. My point is if you want to have specific effects by wood firing, you must have specific designed wood kiln. If you choose easiest way, you will get easiest result. I think it makes sense.

Kiln Building Update 7/18

On Saturday, Takuro started working on kiln at 6am. He cut brick to be fit for the end of 2nd layer and finished it. Then suddenly our friend and also very nice carpenter who lives just several miles from our house, Tony Luck came to help us. He and his team built this kiln shed last December and we really like it a lot.
And Tony was very very good at laying bricks! He does very detailed work. Then, our good friend, David Stuempfle came to help us. Tony and David finished up 3rd layer by noon time.

Ben Owen who is our friend, and good neighbour, and who is super busy potter just had kiln opening last night came by Skid Stair and moved lots of bricks for us. It's big help and it could save lots of time and energy.

Santiago Ramirez (STARworks Ceramics) came to help us. We got "dream team". In the afternoon, we started making structure for inside of Anagama. On Thursday, Takuro and I went to bamboo woods in Robbins and took a lot of thick bamboo. We split Bamboo and then start making arch shape. This is Shigaraki style Anagama building and Furutani Michio's Anagama book has how to do it if you are interested in.

This photo is the end of Saturday. Big improvement because of our friends help.

Thank you very much,
Tony Luck
David Stuempfle
Ben Owen
Santiago Ramirez
You made this possible.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Kiln Building Update 7/12

We asked our good friend and a young Seagrove potter, Jeff Dean (Dean and Martin Pottery) to help kiln building, and he did wonderful job for us on Sunday. We almost ran out of solid bricks and started using hollow bricks, and it takes more time because we had to pack kiln clay into that hollow bricks before laying. We were able to finish another layer by the end of day. A lot of thanks to Jeff.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kiln Building Update 7/11

Takuro got up 6am and started working on making layer with mortal, and our good friend, David Stuempfle knocked on the door and came to help kiln building this morning. We got a big progress and were able to finish one layer by 3pm! Incredible. We will try to get one more layer done tomorrow. Thank you very very much David!
Concrete and Mortal, lots of needing work

Friday, July 10, 2009

Kiln Building Update 7/10

Takuro got back from cold (or maybe flue) completely, and now he wakes up 5am and working on kiln building. We moved lots of solid bricks (40-50 pounds/each!) by hand and laid them on the foundation temporary. There are some spots which needs specific shape bricks, and we have to cut bricks before mortal. We will try to finish one layer in this weekend.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Kiln Building Update 7/7

We didn't have much progress visually these several days because we had to think of preparations for the next step. After Eddie and Phil's advice, we decided to stop working on the second chamber's arch and work on Anagama. They said it's probably physically safer to do it, just because this Anagama chamber is built on the slope and has more complicated design. We'll get iron for concrete bricks in front of fire box, make wall, bury by gravel and soil, then start laying brick on the Anagama wall and door. We'll see.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Oak tree fall down, continued

I never forget June 24th, 2009

The oak tree fell down two weeks ago and then we have got different land view for a while. Everyday I was surprised when I saw the tree with no reason. We didn't think we could do anything for now because we were too busy to clean out.

Eddie and Phil took a look our kiln and they also watched the tree, and we discussed how we can cut this tree before it roll or break, and then they said "Let's do it". It's Sunday 11 am and we never thought cutting tree on Sunday morning... but it was EMERGENCY (good excuse). Takuro asked Santiago to help us because he is a landscape professional, also Eddie's wife Angela and San-chan's wife Kacy-chan came to help this work.

Kacy-chan and Angela

People started cutting branches first as much as possible, then worked on cutting huge trunk. It was really scary to see people jumped on tree and sometimes tree moved with weired noise. Chainsaws stuck and they stick metal bar into and moved big branches by hand. They finished work at 2pm with sawdust everywhere on the body. What people they are!Now tree laid on the ground completely and it's much safer than before. We can cut a little by little and save it for the first wood firing (maybe good karma). Thanks friends very much.

Kiln Building Update 7/5

Today we had friends, Eddie and Phil to see our kiln in the morning. Eddie runs Wet Dog Glass which makes very nice glass furnaces and locate in STARworks building, and Phil is one of Wet Dog Glass employee. They are very nice people and also very professional glass kiln builders.

Takuro asked their opinion about kiln building, and Eddie and Phil pointed out many things very useful. It's always good to have specialists who have different point of view. We will do some different things.

What about my opinion?

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Kiln Building Update 7/4

We were going to start making wooden frame for the second chamber and finish up arch first, but we decided to work on the third chamber exit flue and also 2nd and 3rd chamber side walls before that. Just because we thought exit flue walls and side walls had better be connected in order to make safer for arch.... very hard to explain though.

We mostly built the third chamber exit flue part with mortal this afternoon. Then laid brick for the side walls temporary without mortal and see how we can play with this huge puzzle. Even you draw perfect design on the map, but always something to be changed.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Kiln Building Update 7/3

It's a holiday today because of the Independence Day, so we started kiln building in the morning. Seagrove wood fired potter, David Stuempfle and Santiago Ramirez (STARworks Ceramics) came to help us today. We stacked bricks on exit flue area which has to be very careful and also takes a lot of time, and we have got huge progress we never thought. Thanks a lot, David and Santiago.After David and San-chan left, our son went to nap, then we kept working on second chamber wall. We made air holes on the bottom of fire box, and now second chamber looks like a kiln a little bit. We need to stack 2 more layers then start working on arch which is exciting but also very scary.We have baby monitor so that we can hear when he gets up. We didn't have clock with us, and when we heard a noise of him, we suddenly realized "what time is that?". He slept like 3 and a half hours (too long for nap) and it was already 7pm. Time flies.
Men, looks good!