I am firing the kiln today – its just a biscuit firing; that is, the raw pots to 1000 degrees Centigrade, which makes them like a soft terracotta. No pressure, except that with a gas kiln you have to be extremely careful through the first stage, which removes all the residual water in the clay, up to 200 degrees, and then around 600 degrees when the “crystalline” water is burnt off. My kiln would boost up to 1000 in 4 hours easily, maybe even quicker if I turned the burners on full – and everything would just explode. I pre-fire the night before with a tiny flame over night.

kiln shed during biscuit firing here it is, temp 700 degrees, but you wouldn’t know it – a very unexciting picture. you can see the hole in the roof for the chimney, which is covered over when not firing, and the chimney stored on top of the roof. The bucket is to catch rain, there is a piece of metal guttering suspended so that the run-off from the roof doesn’t get the kiln unduly wet.

Last night I went out at 10.30 to light the little flame, looking for shooting stars; the milky way was beautiful, hanging overhead, and then there were some weird whirling lights in the sky – Northern Lights, perhaps? – but after walking up the road to get an unimpeded view I concluded that it was some sort of laser light show a long way away – rather disappointing.