Sunday, October 20, 2013

Great Balls of Fire

Great ball of fire coming from "The Performance Kiln"

Months of planning and days of constant feeding of logs to fuel kilns came to a magnificent end last night as KU, Lawrence, and regional artists finished a huge kiln burning event at Chamney Barn.  Spectators also watched an iron pour.

Water hoses were on hand as Sam Holloway unveiled his homemade kiln. He wore protective gear as he removed the outer insulation layer that maintained the kiln's core temperature. The result of the unmaking was a striking ball of fire coming from inside the skeletal structure.

Sam and Zach preparing for the unveiling

Historically, wood burning was the only choice for potters.  Although labor intensive, these wood burning kilns are favored by some for their high fire abilities which allow unique chemical reactions in the ceramic pieces.  The high fire takes away the oxegen creating color changes within the clay, and flying ash leaves unpredictable patterns on the pieces.

Getting ready for the iron pour

Elliot watching from on top of logs

Ceramic ware inside these kilns will require one week of a gradual cool down process before they are throughly removed from the extremely hot kilns.

T. J. Tangpuz getting ready for the iron pour

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