I've stated this here many times: the firing of a wood kiln is like a barn raising. It's a community effort, and we always have the nicest community at the firings.
It's a whole day of watching, adjusting, and feeding the fire. When you first do a stoke the smoke is black out of the chimney and the temperature rises. As the smoke clears the temperature starts to slide back down, so it's time for more stoking. It can be a cat and mouse game at times where the temperature plateaus for a while and you have to be able to read the signals to push past it.
I am learning more about this process every time I'm at the firing, but I will leave reading the kiln to Hal and Tara. They understand it's language and know what it needs.
Once the cones are down we hold it at temp for a bit of a soak and then it's time to get some dramatic photos and seal up the door. It takes several days to cool down. When it's fired on Saturday it's opened on Tuesday.
Thanks again (as always) to Hal and Corine for letting me be a part of a wonderful event. Thanks also to Tara, Chad, Dave, and Mark for making it fun and keeping the conversation lively.
|Mark stoking the flames.|
Stoking the kiln
I can't stress the extreme nature of the stoking enough. Right at the stoke holes those temperatures are above 2000 F. Notice how Mark pokes one piece of wood with another to get it out of the way and the piece he pokes it with is instantly combusting. We wear heavy welding gloves and don't spend any more time than necessary in front of the stoke holes. We have fun, but we're very careful.
|During a stoke.|
|After the soak.|
I finally went to see the "Deadpool" movie that night at the 10:00 pm showing. I was confused when the person at the ticket booth asked me which seat I wanted. Apparently when they renovated the theater in December they started doing assigned seating.
I stared blankly at the seating chart for a moment trying to process this new information. Rows A and B were available, and there was one seat in row F (the last row), so I took that one. I noticed there didn't seem to be a lot of seats in the room.
When I got into the theater I was shocked to find big, red, electric recliners where the seats had been. A quick count showed that there were only 49 seats in the room now. It was a surreal experience before the movie even started.
I really enjoyed the film, but I will tell you it was very crude and not for everyone.
|My feet and one from the guy next to me.|
|A better photo from jetmag.com|