We were lucky this year and had a beautiful sunny day for the noborigama aka wood kiln. The cherry blossoms were also late this year so they were in bloom on the mountain side near the studio.
Here is a close up of the wood kiln.
My three hour shift was from 4-7pm and there were a few people helping out during that time along with me. Here are three people feeding the fire with the black smoke from the logs starting to come out the chimney.
If you are interested about the noborigama please check my pas blog posts here and here.
After adding the logs huge billows of black smoke come out the top.
Smoke and fire also come directly out of the kiln cracks and holes.
When they wind blows the wrong way we all get a mouthful of smoke.
So after 18 hours of feeding the fire and a week of waiting, it was time to take the pieces out of the kiln!
As usually the wall is the first to go and pass pass pass.
The assembly line always goes to the big blue tarp where all the pieces are laid out in order. We lay it out in order so we can see how the wood kiln fired the pieces this time. Since some are up front, back, high, low etc and each spot in the kiln gives a different grade of firing. Some spots are great, and some spots don't get enough heat so by observing this we can adjust the amount of wood and how far it's thrown in.
This time was pretty good, not many bad spots and everyone's pieces turned out well, including mine!
First are these matching cup and bowl. I used glaze J (oribe) and it is normally a clear glassy green but in the noborigama it turned this wonderful green turquoise color with splashes of pink and purple! I love love LOVE them!!! Although you can't see the indents I made on them the color turned out AMAZING. I can't wait to try this again.
You can see the pink undertones inside the cup.
Here is an underside shot and you can see the indents and the nice orange flash of color on the unglazed base from the heat in the kiln.
Here are the two other bowls from the kiln. Left bowl is glaze B and right bowl is glaze U (my fav yellow color) Both turned out amazing as well. I love the drip marks on the left bowl.
Inside shot, great glazes but one minor mistake...
Glaze B on the left bowl ran too far down and pooled at the base of the bowl. Luckily it was only a little bit so I could grind it away easily. The right bowl came away perfect, with no glaze pooling at the bottom.
Last are a few of my teachers vases that went into the wood kiln. He was happy with the color but sadly ash settled on ALL of the pieces which turned into a hard cement type texture. He's chipped the spots off, but the vases are now damaged and can't be sold. He'll most likely sand the damaged area and re-fire them in the next nobirgama in fall to try to salvage them.
Until next time!