ABOUT

Form making for me is an exercise in volume, proportion and surface. Specific thought is given to creating receptive surfaces, planes, folds and shoulders that will accumulate ash throughout the firing and upon which the flame will record its passing.  The primitivism and physicality inherent in the cycle of forming pots, preparing the kiln, and the embrace of fire as finisher has proven to be an engaging creative experience.

I am intrigued by the inherent unknowns of the wood fire process; the way fire, ash, and intense heat combine in dramatic ways to flux and finish ceramic work.  The soft sinuous path of flame records it’s movement over developing surfaces, wood ash colors and textures the ware. A significant amount of time is spent loading ware into the kiln, conceptualizing the movement of flame and the depositing of ash through the stack with respect for the intense environment it must endure.

With continuous and conserted effort for days, one’s focus is directed to the dynamics within the kiln; the rising temperature affecting the changing color of the fire and the ware, the atmosphere, the ash accumulation, the stoking rhythm, the specific properties of the materials being burned. With close observation these independent indicators coalesce into an intuitive understanding of how to allow the anagama kiln to do it’s work.

10.2013

About Rob Lamb Ceramics

THE KILN

Protected from the intense heat, looking beyond the bed of sparkling, white hot embers, into the manifesting and disappearing paths of flame moving through carefully placed objects, one is transported.  From that first moment I knew I needed to participate in this direct process of transformation. 

shed.jpg anagama_shed.jpg anagama_kiln_1.1.jpg structural_kiln_shed_3.14.11_v4.jpg
  • shed.jpg
  • anagama_shed.jpg
  • anagama_kiln_1.1.jpg
  • structural_kiln_shed_3.14.11_v4.jpg

I studied all the kiln building source material I could locate with specific attention to the altitude compensation factors for building a kiln at 6200’.  The firebox, damper and chimney area altitude corrections dictated by the books all felt largely mis-proportioned to the task.  A nationally recognized kiln builder tried to talk me out of building an anagama - “ They are much too difficult to fire, way too difficult to bring to temperature ”.  I persevered.

Kiln Build / Snow Mountain Kiln Build / Snow Mountain Kiln Build / Snow Mountain Kiln Build / Snow Mountain Kiln Build / Snow Mountain Kiln Build / Snow Mountain Kiln Build / Snow Mountain Kiln Build / Snow Mountain Kiln Build / Snow Mountain Kiln Build / Snow Mountain Kiln Build / Snow Mountain Kiln Build / Snow Mountain Kiln Build / Snow Mountain Kiln Build / Snow Mountain Kiln Build / Snow Mountain Kiln Build / Snow Mountain
  • Kiln Build / Snow Mountain
  • Kiln Build / Snow Mountain
  • Kiln Build / Snow Mountain
  • Kiln Build / Snow Mountain
  • Kiln Build / Snow Mountain
  • Kiln Build / Snow Mountain
  • Kiln Build / Snow Mountain
  • Kiln Build / Snow Mountain
  • Kiln Build / Snow Mountain
  • Kiln Build / Snow Mountain
  • Kiln Build / Snow Mountain
  • Kiln Build / Snow Mountain
  • Kiln Build / Snow Mountain
  • Kiln Build / Snow Mountain
  • Kiln Build / Snow Mountain
  • Kiln Build / Snow Mountain

An invitation was extended to me to join an anagama firing in Tres Piedras, near Taos, NM.  The large anagama to be fired, located at 7000’ was designed and built by John Bradford, an accomplished studio potter who had conceived and constructed a number of kiln’s at altitude in the environs of Flagstaff and Taos.

During the Taos firing I noticed that the primary dampers, firebox and chimney were not mis-proportioned to compensate for the altitude.  Additionally, John fired the kiln with the primaries relatively closed.  Late in the firing, early in the morning over the roaring kiln loaded with streaming pots, the ember bed sparkling white, John agreed to come to the Sierra and help build the kiln at Snow Mountain.

I have always connected with the argument for building a smaller kiln, with less ware required, I could fire more frequently, accurately retaining the lessons learned from the recent previous firings, continuing to learn by experimentation.

Over the next months, John and I exchanged design ideas and sketches.
John had built a number of small anagamas, refining his design in each of the subsequent kilns.  I sourced materials, prepared the site and made ware for the kiln’s first firing.  Anxious, to get a sense of the scale and volume of the kiln, I constructed the kiln’s interior centering formwork.

I was able to source a good quantity of barely used insulated fire brick which allowed for the well insulated kiln construction.  A thickness of 3” series insulated firebrick were placed as a substrate for the 3” series hardbrick floor, the insulated firebrick were also used as an outer insulating layer to the 3” series hardbrick in the wall and arch construction.

In the two week window our intention was to build the kiln, make additional ware, and fire the kiln. With daytime temperatures in the teens and snow forecast we made good progress by erecting a temporary shelter around the kiln to retain heat and keep the workspace free from the potential of accumulating snow.

With the arch brickwork completed, we poured a continuous castable spine to unify the vaulted form.  Placed in intervals down the spine are four - 3/4” diameter openings, designed to create flame licks which could be used as stoking cues as the firing progressed.  We incorporated a 4” diameter opening in the top of the kiln centered over the ware chamber to add reduction materials during the firing and to help dump heat prior to unloading.  When the castable key had cured the centering formwork was removed from the ware chamber and burned out of the exit flue.

To maintain the aggressive schedule, groups worked inside and on the outside of the kiln at the same time.  Some of us wadded and loaded pots, others placed the 1” kao-wool blanket as additional insulation over the IFB’s and placed a capping mix for its protection. The door was bricked up incorporating the stoke opening, a series of burn-outs and the first fire was started.


07.2014

BURNS

BURN 06

SMK _ 06 _ Firing Log _ 04.14.14

Cone _ low pack _ 06 / 3 / 5, mid _ 7 / 8 / 9 / 10, high pack _ 11 / 12 / 13 / 14
Temp. - 64 degrees F
Wind - S.SW - calm
Barometric Pressure - 40.10 in. - steady
Load comprised entirely of bisque ware -
Cone sym. - F / front cones - R / rear cones
Pyrometer placed in the apex of the kiln ware chamber
Blade damper set at - 4” free area
First firing with spark arrestor - 13 gauge steel mesh with 3/16” square voids - sheet material placed flat on top of chimney stack
Fir - 25.7 mill. / BTU per cord
Ponderosa Pine - 20.2 mill. / BTU per cord
Almond - 32.9 mill. / BTU per cord
Mt. Mahogany - 35 mill. / BTU per cord

In attendance - Rob Lamb, Mindy Holdsworth, Melanie Bjorge, Stephanie Arnold Prieto, Mark Prieto, Philip Krohn

04.14.14 9 am Start fire outside, candle with pine needles, cones, chips, the candling fire is placed in a low walled channel - sides 12” tall X 27” long, the end opposite the kiln is capped to contain embers. Top of channel is capped by a scrap of corrugated metal to direct flame path into kiln. Intent is to candle outside the kiln for 24 hours to gently warm kiln and deposit larger ash on ware with little flame speed within the kiln. Kiln starts to draw immediately. Two center primaries open, two outside
noonKiln temp. 341 degrees F - using dry fir limbed x-mas tree trunks
midnightKiln temp. 716 degrees F
04.15.1410:00 am Minimized exterior candling channel - only enough to provide small exterior warming / cooking fire. Candling fire moved to interior of kiln. Stoke with dry x-mas tree trunks 36” long - place wood when space allows. place wood, let the fire come to the fuel. Kiln temp is 737 degrees. Damper placed with 4” free area - thought being - slow flame speed and maximize ash fall-out during candling. Fully open two outside primaries.
noon Kiln temp. - 786 degrees F
midnight Kiln temp. - 806 degrees F
04.16.14 10:00 am Start stoking through top stoke door, close lower, Move to building temperature. adjust damper inward to 4” exposed - temp rises to 1016 degrees F and holds. Stoke with (2) pine for heat and (1) almond for structure in ember bed. Place half bricks on top of full bricks at primaries - all primaries - ( sim.) Damper setting results in slight back pressure and slight reduction atmosphere within kiln. smoke through stoke door clears quickly - building temp. per pyro.
noon Kiln temp - 1101 degrees F
3:00 pm Kiln temp - 1181 degrees F.
6:00 pm Kiln temp - 1211 degree F
9:00 pm Kiln temp - 1347 degrees F.
04.17.14 midnight Kiln temp - 1562 degrees F. gradual temp rise in reduction starts to slow. stoking with (2) poplar/pine mix and (1) almond. Still reduction after stoke through stoke door - smoke clears quickly
10:00 pm Kiln temp - 2167, front cone 11 down, cone 12 soft. Hold strategy change - stoke when pyro reads 2150, to keep 12 standing - move from stoking with pine to stoking with cherry - save pine for later in the firing - (2) cherry and (1) almond per stoke every 3-5 minutes, reading stokes off pyro - continue side stoking
04.18.14 midnight Kiln temp - 2155, front cone 12 soft, rear cone 10 down, cone 11 soft. continue side stoking
2:00 am Kiln temp - 2157, front cone 12 soft, rear cone 11 @ 2, continue side stoking with pine and mt. mahogany - flaming door + cone stoke
3:00 am Kiln temp - 2170
5:00 am Kiln temp - 2163, maintain stoking when kiln reaches 2150 to keep cone 12’s standing in front - stop side stoking. rear cone 11 soft
10:30 amKiln temp - 2158 - pull first Hiki Dashi, decent ash accumulation, clay body - Soldate 60 - feels anemic.
11:00 amKiln temp - 2148 - pulled second Hiki, reduction experiment with pine needles - effected clay body very little
11:30 am Kiln temp - 2172 - pulled Hiki 3 - Tenmoku looks great.
12:30 pmKiln temp - 2179 - stoking with (2) cherry and (1) almond, raise stoke cue to 2160, in an attempt to start building temp, working toward maturation. Every three stokes raise stoke cue by 10 degrees, Mindy calling stokes. Resume side stokes with pine and mt. mahogany build ember bed through flaming door - then stoke directly, quickly
1:00 pm Kiln temp - 2210 - raising temp gradually and consistently
1:20 pm Kiln temp - 2236 - difficult to raise temp with cherry ? move to (2) pine stoke alternating with (1) pine and (1) almond stoke - after a number of stokes - start to build temp again, incrementally.
3:30 pm Kiln temp - 2257 - building temp at a rate of 2 to 6 degrees per stoke
4:12 pm Kiln temp - 2286 - move to stoking with (2) pine and (1) almond per stoke
4:30 pm Kiln temp - 2315
5:00 pm Kiln temp - 2330, front cone 12 down, cone 13 standing - rear cone 11 down, cone 12 soft
5:28 pm Kiln temp 2333, change to (1) pine and (1) mt. mahogany per stoke
6:07 pmKiln temp - 2333, change to (2) pine stoke alternate with (1) pine and (1) mt. mahogany to maintain ember bed. stop side stokes - might be counter productive to building temp in front of kiln.
6:30 pm Kiln temp - 2342, gradually building temp with current stoke pattern
6:45 pmKiln temp - 2360, finish firing with (4) side stoke bundles of apple twigs and (6) 3”- 4” mt. mahogany trunks
7:15 pm Kiln quiet
7:30 pmKiln temp - 2180 degrees F - point all gaps with clamming mix to minimize air infiltration
coolingDidn't intend to crash cool kiln, rapid cooling resulted in a shiny, glossier finish on most ware. Color and clarity of glaze surface, ash formed bidoros may have been enhanced ?

BURN 05

SMK _ 05 _ Firing Log _ 05.20.13

Cone _ low pack _ 06 / 3 / 5, mid _ 7 / 8 / 9 / 10, high pack _ 11 / 12 / 13 / 14
Temp. - 72 degrees F
Wind - S.SW - calm
Barometric Pressure - 38.09 in. - steady
Load comprised entirely of bisque ware -
Cone sym. - F / front cones - R / rear cones
Pyrometer placed in the apex of the kiln ware chamber
Blade damper set at 4” exposed
Fir - 25.7 mill. / BTU per cord
Ponderosa Pine - 20.2 mill./ BTU per cord
Almond - 32.9 mill. / BTU per cord
Mt. Mahogany - 35 mill. / BTU per cord

In attendence - Rob Lamb, Mindy Holdsworth, Mark Hanson, Erica Hanson, Chris “ Snomar “ Dunn, Mark Prieto, Buddy Hanson - the dog

05.20.13 4 pm Start fire outside, candle with needles, cones, chips, the candling fire is placed in a low walled channel - sides 12” tall X 27” long, the end opposite the kiln is capped to contain embers. Intent is to candle outside the kiln for 12 hours to gently warm kiln and deposit larger ash on ware with little flame speed within the kiln. Kiln starts to draw immediately.
7 pmKiln temp. 141 degrees F - stoke with dry fir x-mas tree trunks
9 pmKiln temp. 186 degrees F
05.21.13 7:30 amThe candling channels are increased by an additional 6 “ to accommodate larger material - doug fir, x-mas tree trunks. Top of channel is capped by two kiln shelves to direct flame path into kiln. Kiln temp is 338 degrees F.
11 am Kiln temp. 386 degrees F
1:30 pm Adjust damper inward to 3” exposed - temp rises to 564 degrees F and holds. Stoke with x-mas tree trunks.
3:30 pm Strong wind gusts produce back drafts pushing flame out of the kiln stoke door and burn out ports. Adjust damper to 4” exposed.
4:30 pmDue to continued strong gusts - transition candling fire to inside of kiln through lower stoke door. Intent is to candle inside of kiln for 12 hours to gently warm kiln and deposit large flakey ash on the ware.
7 pm Maintaining fire inside, stoke with limbed x - mas trees (2-3) 3” dia. every +/- 5 minutes through the lower stoke door. The wind is lessening, adjust damper to 3” exposed. Kiln temp. 750 degrees F.
05.22.13 2 pm Kiln temp 900 degrees F.
4:30 pm Time to build temperature aggressively, anticipate building temp at 55 degrees per hour for consistent steady ramp through the quartz inversion. Start stoking through upper stoke port / close lower stoke door and pull out damper. Stoke with (2) pine cordwood and (1) oak to give structure to ember bed. Kiln temp 1000 degrees F
5:30 pm Kiln temp 1060 degrees F
6:30 pm Kiln temp 1133 degrees F
7:30 pm Kiln temp 1238 degrees F
8:30 pm Kiln temp 1382 degrees F
9:30 pm Kiln temp 1420 degrees F
10:30 pm Kiln temp 1484 degrees F
11:30 pm Kiln temp 1526 degrees F
05.23.13 12 am - midnight Kiln temp 1556 degrees F
1:00 amKiln temp 1626 degrees F
2:00 am Kiln temp 1681 degrees F
3:00 am Kiln temp 1736 degrees F
4:00 am Kiln temp 1791 degrees F
5:00 am Kiln temp 1846 degrees F - front cone 06 @ 1
5:30 am Heavy body reduction stokes (2) X 10 pieces of pine
6:00 am Kiln temp 1901 degrees F
7:00 am Kiln temp 1956 degrees F
8:00 am Kiln temp 2011 degrees F
9:00 amKiln temp 2060 degrees F - front cone 5 @ 1, cone 6 soft
9:30 am Kiln temp 2090 degrees F - front cone 5 down, cone 6 down - projected rate of change + 55 degrees F is getting more difficult to achieve
10:00 am Kiln temp 2121 degrees F - front cone 8 soft
10:30 am Kiln temp 2129 degrees F - front cone 8 @ 2
11:00 am Kiln temp 2159 degrees F - front cone 8 down, cone 9 soft
12:00 pm Kiln temp 2174 degrees F - front cone 9 @ 3, rear cones 5, 6 are now @ 1
1:00 pmVisit from Tahoe fire crew - lost significant temp during their visit and explanation of the kiln.
1:30 pm Re-start - kiln temp 2082 degrees F - front cone 10 standing
2:00 pm Kiln temp 2141 degrees F - front cone 10 soft
3:00 pmWe have been stoking every 3 minutes + / - w/ (1) oak and (1) pine in separate closely spaced stokes, with good result, building heat consistently.
Mark Prieto arrives to pull Hiki dashi pieces.
6:00 pm Started side stokes with pine, working both sides of kiln. Side stoke (X 2) for every single front stoke, maintaining front ember bed and developing ember bed + heat in back of kiln
8:00 pm Kiln temp 2222 degrees F. Stoking every minute and have been doing so for the last 1.5 hours - Stoking every minute building temp very slowly in partial reduction - good positive back pressure in the kiln - front cone 12 @ 1, rear cone 11 down
9:00 pm Pull (5) hiki dashi pieces - good ash deposit, anemic clay bodies
10:00 pm Kiln temp 2190 degrees F - lost temp while pulling hiki, front cone 12 @ 1, rear cone 12 @ 1
11:00 pm Front cone 12 @ 2, rear 12 @ 1, stoking with (1) small oak and (1) small pine - Mindy calling stokes off pyro - building temp consistently.
05.24.13 1:00 am Kiln temp. 2275 degrees F - Mindy retires, Rob call stokes off pyro. Burned all the oak, then moved to almond to maintain front ember bed.
2:00 am Kiln temp. 2298 degrees F. Rake primary dampers every 5-7 stokes, not removing embers, just creating headroom above embers to create good combustion airflow under grate. Stoking with (1) pine and (1) almond every 2 -3 minutes
3:00 am Turn off pyro. Call stokes off top of chimney, when flame recedes from view - stoke with (1) pine and (1) almond
4:00 am Front cone 12 down, cone 13 standing. rear cone 13 soft due to side stoking. Check pyro, Kiln temp - 2320 degrees F. Great relief in turning off the pyro. A great opportunity to start to watching, listening and feeling - it's as though when one really listens, you can hear the kiln ask for fuel.
5:00 am Same strategy - Kiln temp - 2340 degrees F. front cone 13 soft, rear cone 13 soft. wait 15 minutes after cone reading to resume stoking, temp back up with (1) stoke. Ember bed white sparkling hot, hot, hot.
6:00 am Stop stokes to read cones - wait 15 minutes. front cone 13 @ 3, rear cone 13 @ 3. We realize our goals have been met, mix clamming mud.
6:45 am 6:45 am - point all gaps to minimize air infiltration.
7:00 am 7:00 am - kiln quiet
7:30 am7:30 am - close damper

BURN 04

BURN 03

Cone _ low pack _ 06 / 3 / 5 / 6 + mid _ 7 / 8 / 19 / 10 + high pack _ 11 / 12 / 13 / 14
Humidity - 81 %
Dew point - 45 degrees F
Wind - S.SW - windy, varied, gusts developed to 76 mph - recorded @ Galena station
Barometric Pressure - 41.02 in. - steady
Load comprised entirely of bisque ware - Fire with stoke door - no damper
Cone sym. - FL / front lower left, FR / front lower right, TF / top front, BR / back right, BL / back left

11.17.121:00pmstart fire outside, candle with needles, cones, chips, etc ......
6:00pmtransition fire to inside of kiln, maintain fire outside, candle for 1 hour, burn-outs open, primaries - 2 center @ 1/2, 2 outside @ 1/2, build heat cautiously with pine sidestoke material
7:30pm reduced fire outside for safety reasons - wind gusts, sparks
9:45pmgood ember bed developing 2 center primaries @ 1/2, 2 outside primaries @ 1/2, pine sidestoke wood used to maintain fire inside + out
11:00pmlower stoke door open, sidestoke wood used to maintain fire inside + out, build heat more aggressively, 2-3 big pine every 3-5 minutes
11:45pmstoking w/ pine @ 3 minutes, using flame @ first lick as cue, closed lower stoke door, primaries all @ 1/2
12:00amstoking when environment clears, wind subsiding, lower stoke door @ 1/2 to increase draft, burnouts closed.
11.18.127:00amclose secondary door, burnouts open, primaries @ 1/2, cue first flame lick, FR 06 soft, FL 06 soft, TF 06 soft
7:35amFR cone 06 @ 2, FL cone 06 @ 2, TF 06 soft, ( 1X ) - 8 large pieces - reduction stoke, when environment clears, repeat heavy stoke. body reduction for front of kiln
8:00amFR cone 06 down - cone 3 @ 1/2, FL cone 06 down - cone 3 @ 1/2, BR cone 06 @ 3, BL cone 06 @ 3, body reduction for rear of kiln, 8 large pieces in front stoke, heavy reduction, repeat heavy stoke w/ 8 pieces
9:00amFR cone 3 down - cone 5 standing, FL cone 3 down - cone 5 standing, TF cone 3 down - cone 5 @ 1/2, BR cone 06 down - cone 3 standing, BL cone 06 down - cone 3 standing
9:30amTF cone 5 down - cone 6 soft, attempt to slow firing down place burn-outs at 1/2, stoke w/ (2) cottonwood alternate w / (2) cherry
10:00amFR cone 3 down - cone 5 standing, FL cone 3 down - cone 5 standing, TF cone 5 down - cone 6 bending, BR cone 06 down - cone 3 standing, BL cone 06 down - cone 3 standing, open 1 1/2Ó gap in lower stoke door
10:30amall primaries @ 1/2 open, burnouts to 1/4, lower door closed
11:00amFR cone 3 down - cone 5 standing, FL cone 5 standing, TF cone 5 down - cone 6 @ 1/2, - BR cone 3 standing, BL cone 3 standing, stoking cue - flame lick @ 3-5 minutes with cherry, cottonwood and fir (3) pieces
12:00pmFR cone 5 down - cone 6 standing, FL cone 3 down - cone 5 @ 1/2, TF cone 6 down - cone 7 standing, BR cone 3 soft, BL cone 3 soft. stoking cue - flame lick @ 3-5 minutes with cherry, cottonwood and fir (3) pieces, burnouts @ 1/4, lower door closed.
12:30pmCue at flame lick changes - no flame - read environment - stoke when clear
1:00pmFR cone 5 down - cone 6 soft, FL cone 3 down - cone 5 @ 1/2, TF cone 6 down - cone 7 soft, BR cone 3 soft, BL cone 3 soft. Stoking cue - when clears @ 3-5 minutes with cherry, cottonwood and fir (3) pieces, burnouts @ 1/4, lower door closed. building heat well, door closed, primaries @ 1/2
2:00pmFR cone 6 @ 2, FL cone 6 bending - cone 6 @ 3, TF cone 7 down - cone 8 soft, BR cone 3 @ 2, BL cone 3 soft, stoking cue - when clears @ 3-5 minutes with cherry, cottonwood and fir (3) pieces
3:00pmFR cone 6 @ 3, FL cone 6 @ 2, TF cone 7 down - cone 8 @ 3 - cone 9 soft, BR cone 3 @ 2, BL cone 3 soft, stoking cue - when clears @ 3-5 minutes with cherry, cottonwood and fir (3) pieces
3:20pmfirst notice of flame in damper slot
4:00pmFR cone 6 down - cone 7 @ 1, FL cone 6 down - cone 7 @1, TF cone 8 down - cone 9 @ 1, BR cone 3 down - cone 5 tip bending, BL cone 3 @ 1, cone 5 standing, stoking cue - when clears @ 3-5 minutes with cherry, cottonwood and fir (3) pieces
4:30pmstart using damper slot for stoking cue
5:00pmFR cone 7 @ 3 - cone 8 soft, FL cone 6 down - cone 7 @1, TF cone 9 down - cone 10 soft, BR cone 5 tip bending - cone 6 tip bending, BL cone 5 tip bending - cone 6 tip bending, stoking cue - when clears @ 3-5 minutes with cherry, cottonwood and fir (3) pieces
5:30pmBR cone 5 down, BL cone 5 @ 3, closed burnouts, slow kiln
6:00pmFR cone 8 down - cone 9 @ 1 - cone 10 soft, FL cone 8 down - cone 9 @1 - cone 10 soft, TF cone 9 down - cone 10 soft, BR cone 5 down - cone 6 tip bending, BL cone 5 down - cone 6 @ 3, stoking cue - when clears @ 3-5 minutes with cherry, cottonwood, fir and almond (3) pieces, raked ember bed first time.
7:00pmFR cone 9 @ 1 - cone 10 soft, FL cone 9 @1 - cone 10 soft, TF cone 9 down - cone 10 soft, BR cone 6 down - cone 7 soft, BL cone 5 down - cone 6 @ 3, stoking cue - when damper slot clears @ 5 minutes with cherry, cottonwood, fir and almond (3) pieces, start side stoking (10 )bundles alternating with pine and fruit wood, primaries @ 1/2
8:00pmFR cone 9 @ 2 - cone 10 @ 1, FL cone 9 @ 2 - cone 10 @ 1, TF cone 9 down - cone 10 soft, BR cone 6 down - cone 7 @ 1, BL cone 6 down - cone 7 soft, stoking cue - when damper slot clears @ 5 minutes with cherry, cottonwood, fir and almond (3) pieces
9:00pmFR cone 9 @ 2 - cone 10 @ 1, FL cone 9 @ 2 - cone 10 @ 1, TF cone 9 down - cone 10 soft, BR cone 7 @ 2, BL cone 6 down - cone 7 soft, stoking cue - when damper slot clears @ 3-5 minutes with cherry, cottonwood, fir and almond (3) pieces, primaries @ 1/2
10:00pmFR cone 9 @ 2 - cone 10 @ 1, FL cone 9 @ 2 - cone 10 @ 1, TF cone 10 soft, BR cone 7 @ 2, BL cone 7 soft, stoking cue - when damper slot clears @ 5 minutes with pine, cottonwood and cherry (3) pieces, primaries @ 1/2
11:00pmFR cone 9 @ 2 - cone 10 @ 1, FL cone 9 @ 2:30 - cone 10 @ 1, TF cone 10 soft, BR cone 7 @ 2, BL cone 7 soft, stoking cue - when damper slot clears @ 3-5 minutes with pine, cottonwood and cherry (3) pieces, burnouts closed, primaries @ 1/2
12:00amFR cone 9 @ 2 - cone 10 @ 1, FL cone 9 @ 2:30 - cone 10 @ 1, TF cone 9 @ 3:30 - cone 10 soft, BR cone 7 @ 4 - cone 8 @ 2, BL cone 7 @ 4 - cone 8 @ 2, stoking cue - when damper slot clears @ 3-5 minutes with pine, cottonwood and cherry (3) pieces, burnouts closed, primaries @ 1/2, 6 pine side stokes - flaming door
11.19.121:00amFR cone 9 down - cone 10 @ 1, FL cone 9 @ 3 - cone 10 @ 1, TF cone 9 down - cone 10 @ 1, BR cone 8 @ 3, BL cone 8 @ 3 stoking cue - when damper slot clears @ 3-5 minutes with pine, cottonwood and cherry (3) pieces, burnouts closed, added 1/4 bricks to primaries to slow kiln, raked embers, wind picking up, dog dick appears @ top of stack on stoke
2:00amFR cone 9 down - cone 10 @ 1, FL cone 9 down - cone 10 @ 1, TF cone 9 down - cone 10 @ 2, BR cone 8 on back of 7, BL cone 8 on back of 7, stoking cue - damper slot, 3-4 minutes with pine, cherry, cottonwood and almond (3) pieces, burnouts closed, plugged primaries to hold - dump heat - 20 minute hold
3:00amsame values as 2 am - all cones due to hold, middle primaries @ 1/2 - (2) outside closed, stoke @ 10 minutes w/ (3) mt. mahogany
4:00amFR cone 9 down - cone 10 @ 1, FL cone 9 down - cone 10 @ 1, TF cone 9 down - cone 10 @ 2, BR cone 9 soft, BL cone 9 soft, stoking cue - damper slot @ 5 minutes with pine, cherry, and mt mahogany (3) pieces, burnouts closed, outside primaries - closed, inside primaries @ 1/2, (3) fruitwood side stokes - flaming door
5:00amsame values as 2 am - all cones, rake embers after reading cones, no movement since hold @ 2 am
6:00amno cone movement, stoking cue - damper slot @ 5 minutes with pine, cherry, and mt mahogany (3) pieces, burnouts closed, outside primaries - closed, inside primaries @ 1/2, rake
7:00amno cone movement, stoking cue - damper slot @ 5 minutes with pine, cherry, and mt mahogany (3) pieces, burnouts closed, outside primaries - closed, inside primaries @ 1/2, rake
8:00amno cone movement, stoking cue - damper slot @ 5 minutes with pine, cherry, and mt mahogany (3) pieces, burnouts closed, outside primaries - closed, inside primaries @ 1/2, rake, (10 ) bundles side stoke
9:00amFR cone 9 down - cone 10 @ 2:30, FL cone 9 down - cone 10 @ 2:30, TF cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, BR cone 10 on back of 1, BL cone 9 @ 3, stoking cue - damper slot @ 5 minutes with pine, cherry, and mahogany (3) pieces, burnouts closed, outside primaries - closed, inside primaries @ 1/2, (3) fruitwood side stokes - flaming door, building heat
10:00amFR cone 10 @ 4:30, FL cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, TF cone 10 down - cone 11 @ 2, BR cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, BL cone 9 down - cone 10 standing, stoking cue - damper slot @ 5 minutes with pine, cherry, and cottonwood (3) pieces, burnouts closed, outside primaries - closed, inside primaries @ 1/2
11:00amFR cone 10 down - cone 11 soft, FL cone 10 down - cone 11 soft, TF cone 10 down - cone 11 @ 3, BR cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, BL cone 9 down - cone 10 soft, stoking cue - damper slot @ 3-5 minutes with pine, cherry, and X mas trees (3) pieces, burnouts closed, outside primaries - closed, inside primaries @ 1/2
11:20 - 11:40 am20 minute forced hold, resume stoking with ( 5 ) long pine branch stokes, rake
2:00pmrebuilding heat after 20 minute hold, cones sim. to 1 am readings
2:15pmember bed building - wood not burning completely, remove 1/4 brick from central primaries to increase combustion air, side stoke
3:00pmFR cone 11 leaning, FL cone 11 leaning, TF cone 10 down - cone 11 @ 3, BR cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, BL cone 9 down - cone 10 @ 3, stoking cue - damper slot @ 5 minutes with fir, cherry and almond (3) pieces, burnouts closed, outside primaries - closed, inside primaries @ 1/2
4:00pmsimilar to 3 pm
5:00pmsimilar to 3 pm
6:00pmFR cone 11 leaning, FL cone 11 leaning, TF cone 11 down - cone 12 @ 2, BR cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, BL cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, stoking cue - damper slot @ 5 minutes with fir, cherry and almond (3) pieces, burnouts closed, outside primaries - closed, inside primaries @ 1/4, ( 3 ) sidestokes w/ cottonwood - mt. mahogany
7:00pmFR cone 11 @ 3 - cone 12 @ 1, FL cone 11 down - cone 12 soft, TF cone 11 down - cone 12 @ 3, BR cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, BL cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, stoking cue - damper slot @ 5 minutes
8:00pmFR cone 11 @ down - cone 12 @ 1, FL cone 11 down - cone 12 @ 1, TF cone 11 down - cone 12 @ 3, BR cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, BL cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, stoking cue - damper slot @ 5 minutes w/ cherry, cottonwood, almond, pine and lodgepole - stalled 20 minutes for dinner, sidestoking every third front stoke w/ cottonwood and mt. mahogany
9:00pmno cone change, stoking cue - damper slot @ 5 minutes w/ cherry, cottonwood, almond, pine, sidestoking every third front stoke w/ cottonwood
10:00pmadd full brick to center primaries - to slow kiln, all primaries closed no stoke from 10 pm to 10:45 pm, resume stoking cue - damper slot, 5 minutes almond, pine, cherry and cottonwood
12:00amFR cone 11 leaning on ware - cone 12 @ 2, FL cone 11 down - cone 12 @ 2, TF cone 12 down - cone 13 @ 1, BR cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, BL cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, stoking cue - damper slot @ 5 minutes with pine, cherry and almond (3) pieces, burnouts closed, outside primaries - closed, inside primaries @ 1/4
11.20.121:00amFR cone 12 @ 3 - cone 13 soft, FL cone 12 @ 2 - cone 13 soft, TF cone 12 down - cone 13 @ 1, BR cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, BL cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, stoking cue - damper slot @ 5 minutes with pine, cherry and almond (1-2 ) pieces, burnouts closed, outside primaries - closed, inside primaries @ 1/4, slowing stoke to slow temp rise
2:00amsame as 1 am - slow small stokes ( 1-2 ) 5 minutes, pine side stoke
3:00amsame as 1 am - slow small stokes ( 1-2 ) 5 minutes, pine side stoke
4:00amsame as 1 am - slow small stokes ( 1-2 ) 5 minutes, pine side stoke
5:00amsame as 1 am - stoke cue - off top of chimney ( 3 ) pine @ 5 minutes, pine side stoke, burnouts moved to 1/2 open w/ #2 arch brick, all primaries @ 1/4
6:00amFR cone 12 @ 3 - cone 13 @ 1, FL cone 12 @ 2 - cone 13 soft, TF cone 12 down - cone 13 @ 1, BR cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, BL cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, stoking cue - dog dick @ 3-5 minutes with pine ( 3 ) pieces, burnouts 1/2, all primaries @ 1/4
7:00amcones moving, FR cone 12 on back of 11 - cone 13 @ 1, FL cone 12 @ 3 - cone 13 @ 1, TF cone 12 down - cone 13 @ 2, BR cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, BL cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, stoking cue - damper slot @ 3-5 minutes with pine ( 3 ) pieces, burnouts open, all primaries @ 1/2
8:00amFR cone 12 on back of 11 - cone 13 @ 1, FL cone 12 @ 4 - cone 13 @ 1, TF cone 12 down - cone 13 @ 2, BR cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, BL cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, stoking cue - damper slot @ 3-5 minutes with pine ( 3 ) pieces, burnouts open, all primaries @ 1/2
9:00amFR cone 12 down - cone 13 @ 2, FL cone 12 down - cone 13 @ 2, TF cone 12 down - cone 13 @ 3, BR cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, BL cone 10 down - cone 11 standing, heavy stoke to complete ( 10 ) pieces
close it down + chink it up

BURN 02

Conepacks_lowpack_ 06/3/5/6/7 + high pack_ 8/9/10/11/12 Humidity - 25 %
Dew point - 22 degrees F
Wind - S.SE
Barometric Pressure - 29.82 in. - steady
Load comprised entirely of bisque ware - Fire with stoke door
Cone Sym - FLL / front lower left, FLR / front lower right, TF / top front, BR / back right, BL / back left

04.02.127:30pmstart fire outside, candle for 12 hours with needles, cones, chips
11:00amtransition fire to inside of kiln, maintain fire outside, candle for 1 hour, burn-outs open, primaries - 2 center open, 2 outside @ 1/2, build heat cautiously
12:00pmshut down kiln, rest for the work to come
6:00amre-lit fire inside, 2 center primaries open, 2 outside primaries @ 1/2, 2-3 large pine cordwood
04.03.1212:00pmbuild heat more aggressively, 2-3 big pine every 3-5 minutes
4:30pmclose burn-outs
6:30pmdull red heat @ side stokes, move to building heat more gently, accumulate significant ash pre 06 / body reduction
10:00pmdamper moved out 1/2” from 2 1/2” to 3”, generally : primaries more open, pushes heat back, longer flame primaries more closed, heat short - frontal, flames shorter
04.04.125:30amFLL cone 06 soft, FLR cone 06 soft
6:45am06‘s down all front cones, body reduction for front of kiln, 10 large pieces in front stoke, damper @ 4 1/2 open, heavy reduction repeat heavy stoke 10 pieces
7:45amboth cone 06’s standing in rear
8:10amalternate door open / door closed, start to rake embers
9:45amdamper full open, door closed, all primaries @ 1/2 open, burnouts closed
10:20amboth cone 06’s @ 3 in front back, all cone 3’s down in front 2X - heavy reduction stokes front 5-6 pieces, 10 small @ sidestokes
Stack back tight - acts as damper
12:00pmcones 3 bending in back
12:10pmcones 3 down in back
12:20pmbuilding heat well, door closed, primaries @ 1/2, damper open 3 long pine limbs per stoke, sidestoke - 10 bundles placed as flaming door let embers fall on gutter pots, easy does it
Strategy - keep damper @ 3” for first 24 hours, slow gradual building of heat, good ash build-up, open-up kiln once ash is sticky - 1800 F
1:00pmFLR cone 5 down - cone 6 soft, FLL cone 5 down -cone 6, soft, FT cone 6 down- cone 7 soft
2:00pmFLR cone 6 down - cone 7 soft, FLL cone 7 down -cone 8, soft, FT cone 7 down - cone 8 bending, build heat very gently as cone 9 softens > cone 12 to build surface layers
3:00pmFLR cone 7 down - cone 8 @ 3 -cone 9 soft, FLL cone 7 down cone 8 @ 3 - cone 9 soft, FT cone 9 soft - cone 8 down.
3:05pmHalf bricks placed in outside primaries in an attempt to bring heat forward into ware chamber, all primaries now @ 1/2!
4:00pmFLR cone 9 @ 3, FLL cone 9 @ 3, FTR cone 9 down, FTL cone 9 down, BR cone 7 @ 2, BL cone 5 @ 3
5:00pmFLR cone 9 @ 2, FLL cone 9 @ 2:30, FT cone 9 down, BR cone 8 down, cone 9 soft, BL cone 6 soft, mounting discrepancy in rear cones due to uneven loading / side stoking ? move to stoking almond X2, X-mas tree X1 - attempting to slow kiln as ash becomes sticky, dog dick appears out of stack - call stokes off dog dick disappearing into stack
6:00pmFLR cone 9 down, FLL cone 9 down, FT cone 9 down, BR cone 8 @ 2, BL cone 5 @ 3
7:00pmFLR cone 10 soft, FLL cone 10 soft, FT cone 10 standing, BR cone 8 @ 3, BL cone 5 down - cone 6 soft
9:00pmFLR cone 10 @ 2, FLL cone 10 @ 2, FT cone 10 soft, BR cone 8 down cone 9 @ 3, BL cone 6 @ 3
10:00pmFLR cone 10 down, FLL cone 11 soft, FT cone 11 @ 2, BR cone 9 down, BL cone 7 @ 4 - cone 8 @ 2
11:00pmFLR cone 11 soft, FLL cone 10 @ 3, FT cone 11 soft, BR cone 9 down - cone 10 strong, BL cone 8 down - cone 9 soft
12:00pmFLR cone 11 @ 1, FLL cone 11 @ 1, FT cone 11 @ 1, BR cone 9 down - cone 10 soft, BL cone 9 @ 1
04.05.121:00amFLR cone 11 @ 2, FLL cone 11 @ 2, FT cone 11 @ 3, BR cone 10 soft, BL cone 9 @ 3, leave damper @ 5, place (2) full brick @ primaries,slow kiln down eat chili
2:00amFLR cone 11 @ 2, FLL cone 11 @ 2, FT cone 11 @ 2, BR cone 10 soft, BL cone 9 down @ 3, replace full brick @ primaries w/ 1/2 bricks all four, short flame
3:00amFLR cone 11 @ 2, FLL cone 11 @ 2, FT cone 11 @ 2, BR cone 10 soft, BL cone 9 @ 3, replace full brick @ primaries w/ 1/2 bricks all four, short flame
4:00amsame values as 3 am - all cones
5:00amsame values as 3 am - all cones
6:00amsame values as 3 am - all cones
7:00amFLR cone 11 @ 2:30, FLL cone 11 @ 2, FT cone 11 @ 2:30, BR cone 10 soft, BL cone 9 @ 3:30 - cone 10 soft
8:00amsame values as 7 am - all cones, pull burn-outs add 02 to ember bed = adding heat
9:00amFLR cone 11 @ 3, FLL cone 11 @ 2, FT cone 11 @ 3, BR cone 10 @ 2, BL cone 9 down - cone 10 soft, rake every 2-3 stokes to expose combustible faces - note: no raking last 45 minutes of the firing let ash fully flux before shutting down kiln
12:00pmdamper removed to oxidize environment, gain heat, stoking cue when damper slot clears
1:00pmFLR cone 11 @ 3, FLL cone 11 @ 3, FT cone 11 @ 3, BR cone 10 @ 2, BL cone 10 soft
2:00pmFLR cone 11 down - cone 12 standing, FLL cone 11 down - cone 12 standing, FT cone 11 down - cone 12 standing, BR cone 10 @ 3, BL cone 10 soft, building heat
3:00pmbuilding heat, slight stokes, 2 large pine or 3 small, close burn- outs to retain ember bed, damper to 5" open, hold kiln
7:00pmFLR cone 12 soft, FLL cone 12 soft, FT cone 12 soft, BR cone 11 soft, BL cone 10 down, adjust damper in to push small flame from blow holes along spine
8:00pmFLR cone 12 soft - tip bending, FLL cone 12 soft - tip bending, FT cone 12 soft - tip bending, BR cone 11 @ 2, BL cone 11 soft
9:00pmFLR cone 12 candy cane, FLL cone candy cane, FT cone 12 candy cane, BR cone 11 @ 3, BL cone 11 soft - tip bending
12:00amlast stoke - FLR cone 12 down, FLL cone touching, FT cone 12 down, BR cone 12 soft, BL cone 12 soft
close it down + chink it up

BURN 01

Conepacks_lowpack_ 06/3/5/6 + high pack_ 7/8/10/11/12

11.13.116:00 pmstart fire outside, candle for 12 hours
11.14.116:00 amtransition fire to inside of kiln, candle for 12 hours for greenware burn-outs open, primaries - 2 center @ 1/2, 2 outside closed, build heat cautiously
Mud door w/ mortar mix - 1/2 sand + 1/2 Lincoln 60, close burn-outs primaries - 2 center @ 1/2, 2 outside closed, build heat cleanly, start to build coal bed, flames to base of stoke door, flames contact pots
11.15.1112:40 amopened outside primaries to 1/2, 2-3 large pine cordwood 2-3 minute intervals stoking pattern, firing with stoke door open
1:00 amboth front 06 cones bending
2:00 amfront 06 cones @ 1/2 + , start body reduction, stoke 5-6 large pine cordwood, let kiln clear, repeat heavy stoke - kiln gasping for breath
2:30 amfront 06’s puddled - pine is power
3:00 ambuilding ember bed
5:30 amcones 06 bending in back, both sides
5:35 ambody reduction for back of kiln, six smaller pieces in (1) side stoke port, 5 large pieces in front stoke, single long heavy stoke
5:45 amboth cone 3’s down in front, never saw it bend, just saw in down cone 06 falling slowly in back
6:20 amboth 06 cones down in back
7:30 amprimaries 2 center to 1/4 open , 2 outside still closed, stoke before environment completely clears
9:00 amboth cone 5’s bending in front, both cone 3’s standing tall in back
11:30 amcone 5’s 1/2 in front, cone 6’s 1/4 in front, both cone 3’s bending in the back
12:20 amcone 5’s down in front, cone 6’s 1/2 in front, both cone 3’s bending in the back
1:00 amboth cone 6’s down in front, both cone 3‘s down in the back
4:00 amboth cones 7 soft in front, both cones 5 soft in back
8:00 amfront left cone 7 @ 1/2, cone 8 soft - front right cone 7 soft
11:00 amfront left cone 7 @1/2, cone 8 1/3-front right 7 @ 1/2, 8 @ 1/3
11.16.1112:00 amfront left cone 7 down, cone 8 @ 1/2 - front right cone 7 down, cone 8 @ 1/3
3:00 amfront left and left similar - cone 8 down, cone 10 soft, back cone 6 down, cone 7 soft
5:00 ampulled chimney damper 1/2”, front left cone 10 @ 2, front right soft back right cone 7 @ 3, back left cone 7 soft, 6 down - bid circle around the moon - feels like snow is coming
7:00 amfront right cone 10 @ 2, front left cone 10 @ 3, both back cones 7 down, cone 8 @ 2, front
8:30 amfront right cone 10 @ 3, front left cone 10 down, 11 soft, back right cone 8 down, back left cone 8 down , cone 10 soft
11:00 amcontinue to stoke with 2/3 pine cord wood move to smaller pieces, stoke as flame recedes below top of chimney stack
11:30 amboth front cone 10’s down, both cone 11’s bending, back cone 10 soft
1:00 pmboth front cone 11’s bending, both back cone 10’s soft!, pulled damper to 7” open @ 1:30 push back to 4” open
1:45 pmlooking for a more oxidizing environment, switched stoking rhythm looking to damper slot for stoking cue vs. top of stack
12:10 pmno change in cones, back to stoking off top of stack
2:30 pmbegin side stoking to build heat - working to get 11’s down
3:40 pmswitched stoking rhythm - create oxidizing environment side stoke - let chimney clear, front stoke - let chimney clear side stoke - let chimney clear, front stoke - let chimney clea
4:15 pmfront looks good, lots of “sunshine”, cone 11’s still just bending close front stoke hole by w/ 2 hardbrick, continue sidestoke + front stoke rhythm
5:15 pmboth front 11’s just bending - stop side stokes, stoke from front
6:30 pmclose down front, both front cone 11’s bending, move back to side stoking - first stoke = 20 small sticks, following by 1-2, repeat as material consumed, maintain clear oxidixing environment
11 pmclosed kiln down, damper in, chink all openings
11.21.11unload - still really hot - melting boots hot