I have fired the kiln twice up to bisc temperature, 1050C, but this was the first real firing. I had already noticed that the new solid arch takes more time to heat up and cool down, and this proved the case with the glaze firing. I was not quite sure of it so I was probably a bit slower than usual getting up to 1000C, and then I had to see what happened with the reduction. it turned out to pull like a train with the new flue, which is taller, and then I think I over-reduced, though the temperature only went up happily with the flue half closed, which produced a very strong flame. it takes about 12 or so hours longer to cool now.

1flame

the new arch is a kind of concrete, very dense and heavy.

1openingkiln

the firing looked good on opening

1dribbles

plenty of chun blue and dribbles where the glaze was on thick, but no real crawling and peeling for a change – because I was very careful not to overdo the slip.

1smallbowlonshelf

so I have bowls with usable interiors

1bowlattop

the black iron oxide just makes the glaze metallic with this minimal amount of slip. I could have been a bit more liberal with the glaze – that’s for the next firing.

1bigbowl

I have three big bowls, and one small one which is coming with me to Paris in case someone wants it.

1overreduced

however, the firing was over-reduced in parts of the kiln, down the middle line, and a couple of bottles suffered, the chun turning this nasty browny yellowy colour, matt and wrinkled. Or possibly it was a bit too hot. a friend told me the solid arch would radiate heat back once the temperature got high enough, and possibly the flue, made of the same material, might intensify that. I need to have a chat with my friend Steve Parry.

1bigblackbottle

the black clay went brown in places, which may have been the reduction (I didn’t glaze it)

1blacklistener

and the matt black glaze on this porcelain listening pod got quite a lot of brown on it, but that’s fine, it gives the pot a bit more texture and interest.

1listening

this listening pod is quite magnificent, I think

1chun

nice bit of blue chun on the glaze overlap

1incenseburner

and there were some cute incense burners. the black ones were unglazed and I fired them with the lids in situ, just a bit of batt wash to stop them sticking – they needed a tap to release them. but the glazed ones I fired separately, and some of them need a little grind to make them fit.

I have all the photos here – I messed about with black background, and grey-white background, but I think neither are totally successful, the photos knock a lot of the blue out of the glaze.