Robin has his first firing under his belt, and although he only had a few pots in last week's reduction cool firing, he came out of it with a wealth of information.
This firing was only fired to cone 6 - instead of the cone 12 meltdowns that Robin is accustomed to. That's a difference of about 200 degrees fahrenheit, cooler that is. Another big difference is that this kiln is fired down, so over the course of several hours the temperature is built up to reach the desired temperature and then instead of closing it up, stuffing it full of wood and letting it cool itself - in this firing the crew slowly brings the temperature back down with continued stoking.
Robin is really excited about the diversity of palette that this new way of firing offers. The reduction cool kiln creates surfaces with a colour range between black - purple - red - orange sienna, and all the surfaces are a matte finish. This reduction cool firing is more suitable for sculptural or architectural type pots because the surfaces are more dry and rough to the touch.
His next firing that is coming up next week will be a high temperature firing, cone 12. There should be a lot more melting and ash buildup on these pots over the 5 days that they will take to fire the kiln. He'll have several of the large jars that he's been working on in this firing and hopefully some new mugs and bowls for our cupboards at home!
The kids and I are headed back to Calgary for a visit with family and friends for the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday, so we'll miss out on the next firing and wood fire pizza party. Too bad. But we'll be excited to see all the pots when we return in a couple weeks.