Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: kiln firing

Tonight I opened up my soda kiln. It was still a little toasty… but who can wait?!
So I unbricked the door and gave it a few more minutes to cool before I dove in to start unloading. The front stack of the kiln looked a little “blasted” with soda. But that’s to be expects. I know that I pack my kiln tighter than most. And if I hope to get soda “pushed” all the way into the middle of the kiln, sometimes I need to “sacrifice” a few pieces in the front. And while I’m not a huge fan of “overly-blasted”… some people prefer them. And I must admit, overly-blasted is always better than dry!

And a little bit closer… showing some test tiles of different slips.

After I had unloaded the stack of the front two shelves, the third shelf (back stack) is still standing and waiting to be unloaded. A further reach into the kiln… but a lot cooler by the time I got back there.

And a little closer view of the back stack… and some more colorful mugs!

So at this point, everything is unpacked and loaded into crates. I’ve got to shlepp everything out to my car. Plus, all of the “fun” part of firing the soda kiln. Not only do you work hard to unload everything – but you still need to scrape all the shelves, re-kiln wash everything, sweep out the firebox, throw away the garbage and sweep the floor. A LOT of work for one person – especially after doing several long days of getting ready for the firing!!! Worth the work. Worth the effort. Especially when you get all of these treasures in the end.

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