The barrel didn't want to start and after several attempts, and Minke buying more lighter fluid it finally went. The results of the barrel were a mixed bag as usual.
The saggar firing was interesting. We brought the kiln up very slowly, but the bottom pan for the saggar broke into several pieces. The pieces that were saggar fired came out nicely, despite the fractured vessel. We had to let the kiln cool down to about 300 degrees so we could sweep out the sawdust before firing the next raku load.
The first raku load needed to ramp up slowly again since the kiln was so cool. Amy had some plaques to fire and I remembered reading that flat raku pieces have less chance of cracking if they are fired on edge. I'm pleased to say it worked like a charm and her plaques came through the fire fine.
We brought the kiln up more quickly for the second load since it was already at 500-600 degrees and the pots started getting juicy just about the time the heavens let loose. We covered the vent holes with kiln shelf pieces on bricks to keep the rain out of the kiln, but we couldn't chance taking the pots out with all that cold water falling on them. We turned the kiln down and waited. Luckily the storm took a break for about 10 minutes while we took out the pots. They came out of the extra ordeal without any ill effects. I say "extra ordeal" since raku firing is normally an ordeal for the materials involved.
After all the firing was done I glazed a ^10 craggy crunch pot and cleaned up my shelf supports from the other night and finally left the studio at 7:30 pm. A long day indeed.
Elaine builds one of her great coiled pots.