Glaze Firing / Unloading
All of my work is fired in a gas-powered kiln at Bethel
College (Kirk Freeman, the Ceramics Professor at the school, has the “once-a-teaching-assistant-always-a-teaching-assistant”
point of view and generously allows folks like myself the opportunity
to utilize their studio).
Typically a kiln will be loaded and started the night before a firing
for slow warm up, fired off throughout the day (upwards of 2300 degrees),
cooled off over night, and unloaded the next day.
Unloading is essentially a mini-Christmas -- hunting and pecking through
a slew of pots to find your work -- hoping and praying that “the
good ones” made it through without blemishes, that the thin ones
made it through without warping, and that those few creative glaze combinations
turned out as planned.
It never fails - your favorite piece before the firing is not your favorite
after the firing, one or two pieces shock you with unexpected, and often
beautiful, glaze reactions, and you’re only truly happy with about
60-70% of the work that comes out of the kiln. There’s gotta be
a parallel to life in there somewhere... ;)