So the website is up and running now. The last couple of months have been busy making and firing for a string of exhibitions, too close together for comfort. It is not that I didn’t make during the winter, but the kiln is in an open-sided barn, and, not fancying twenty four hour firings when most of those hours would be in the dark and whichever side of me was not facing the kiln would be frozen, I put off packing the kiln until April. It was not the best strategy perhaps, as it meant I had little time to respond to a kiln’s results before I was packing again. Next year I must be tougher.
The years of squeezing in hurried firings during school holidays had given me the conviction that with live-flame firings it was almost entirely a matter of chance what came out. At last, heeding the advice of Phil Rogers, backed up by Nils Lou’s The Art of Firing, I am coming to see that the potter does have some say in what happens! Results are more consistent now and I am better able to understand what is going wrong and right.
…which is just as well, as I am about to finalise the plans for the new Bourry box wood kiln. I saw a couple of these at La Borne, where they are called Sèvres kilns. Roz Herrin built one with Dominique Garet and assures me there is no great mystery to firing them. We shall see. I don’t plan to salt in the new kiln, but to work with the ash glazes I used way back, and to enjoy the flashing and glazing of fly ash. I am trusting that the corrosive atmosphere will be a lot less than in a salt firing, as replacing kiln furniture, sometimes after just a half dozen firings, is a major expense. I’ll still be salting in the old kiln though.