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" Woden" - Wood Fired Kiln - The 34th Firing!

This page records the 34th firing of the Woden kiln which was rescheduled for Friday 16th September 2022, with the preheat starting the evening before.

This is an archive of photographs taken before, during and after the firing.

Special thanks to Harry for the splendid images.

There is a Facebook Event for the firing :-

No significant changes were made to the kiln structure. The corrugated iron roof could still do with replacement.....


Menu for sections on this Page:-

Making Pots

Loading Pots

Firing Kiln

Unloading Pots


Making Pots -

Nikki's pots ready to load Not making but made!
Nikki's batch of pots ready to load.

Loading Pots

cookie jars Down in the cool corner lurk a batch of cookie jars, made by Bill.
day 1 After the first day's loading.
A bit of a late start, too much drinking tea?
back loaded The back section of the kiln loaded, then the top adjusted to fit in a few more pots.
Nikki with back loaded Nikki happy before a day loading.
front three quarters loaded After Nikki's hard day loading her pots, together with many other folk's offerings.
About three quarters full at the front.
almost full Almost full after another few hours of loading, by Jess, Lulu and Emma.
Pat's large Pebble Pot, was removed at her request as she decided to do something different with the glazes..
Just waiting for Sarah's pots to fill up the rest.
Bill with loaded kiln Bill after the last evening's loading session.
Well done Sarah, Simon and new member of the team Harry with his range of different slips and glazes and even some porcelain.
Glad to have got in a good variety of pottery from many potters. Still a few pots left over for the next firing.
half bricked up

bricked up
Bricked up the door, after a few more of Jess's hands were added, balanced on queen scallop shells, and a few more pyrometric cones were placed - to enable the range of temperatures to be checked after the firing.

Now we wait for the firing to be "allowed" when the surrounding countryside has been dampened down a bit more and presents less of a fire risk.

Firing Kiln -

early stoking After a night of preheating, when he "put another log on the fire" every hour, Bill now watches Nick stoking slightly more vigorously.
nick recording Nick recording the temperature in the log.
ciaran stoking Ciaran stoking. A new member of the stoking team, fresh from a night watching over the preheat.
Ciaran deserves a medal for managing to stay awake for almost the whole 36 hours of the firing. He claimed to have enjoyed being a slave!
firebox at 1430 The firebox at 14.30 hours.
Temperature slowing rising.
mark stoking Mark, actually being allowed to play at stoking, resplendent in his new overall. He too earned a medal for long service.
cones 1745 The cones 8 & 9 seen through the spyhole at 1745hours
nikki on pole Nikki in pole position?
She got bored and started practicing her pole dancing moves.
Belinda does not look amused!
martin Martin chatting.
stoking Stoking.
The plan was to use one large chunk of timber and top it up with several small pieces more regularly.
flames Into the evening and the flames start to back out of the firebox when the door is opened.
nikki damper Nikki checking the damper at the bottom of the chimney.
Or has she got confused and started stoking the wrong opening!?
early evening flames from chimney Early evening. Flames coming from the top of the chimney. Although that shows a wasting of unburnt fuel, it does help to heat up the chimney which makes it pull better.
sarah stoking Sarah, one of the final push crew, stoking.
sarah laughing Sarah and her friend enjoying a laugh.
late cones The cones started to bend at about 3am, by 5pm they were over enough to call it a day, so the gaps under the doors were bricked up, the "portcullis" lowered to block off the chimney from the main chamber and the damper bricks removed from the base of the chimney to less the pull.

Unloading Pots

first glimpse First glimpse of the chamber after the top courses of door brick removed.
Bill had a minor moment of desperation, the first pots looked too matt, but they turned out to be Harry's unglazed tests, with a range of coloured slips applied. Then the cone on the right was unbent, but was an 11, which should not have gone.
bill and ciaran unbricking Bill and Ciaran unbricking the door.
Revealing a well fired chamber, nicely toasted pots.
unbricked Unbricked.
Cones gone where they were meant to.
Slightly too low a temperature in the bottom right corner away from the flame entries, but not too bad.
unbricked The same view taken with Harry's better camera, perhaps he cleans his lens now and then!
Harry unloading Harry unloading.
Harry's pots Harry's nest of resulting pots.
Some interesting tests with slips and porcelain bodies.
Harry with pot Harry with one of his lovely dark slipped pots.
simon unloading Simon enjoying unloading his offerings.
Great results, with good speckle and toasted reduced areas.
Jess and Lulu Jess and Lulu sharing the joy!
Niki pots Some of Nikki's mugs.
Very pleasing speckled glazes and some nicely designed shapes.
Laurence's pots Laurence's jugs and an urn decorated by Jeanette.
Bill beakers Bill's beakers.
Bill beakers Close up.
Splendid slightly speckled brown glaze inside and lip, with unglazed outside, the impressed comb decoration nicely picked out by the ash toasting, with mild reduction darkening the clay surface.
bill beakers A few more of the same.
bill beaker  
Bill mugs Bill's mugs and cups in the fading light.
bill cup  
bill mug  
bill platters Bill's flat bowls, platters, flan dishes, call them what you will.
Iron rich dark brown glaze internally.
Band of marks just under rim, harking back to a favourite iron age design feature.
bill platters more of the same...
platters more of the same again...
bill bowls Bill's random bowls.
High temperature light oatmeal glaze.
Bill bowls Bill's large brown bowls.
Bill bowls more of the same...

bill mortaria

Bill's mortaria.
Lots of ash speckle.

bill mortaria

More of the same.
Paler because they were in a cooler place away from the incoming flames.
bill mortaria More...

bill mortaria


bill flutes

Bill's conical flutes.
bill platters More "iron age" decorated bowls.
bill glasto bowls Bill's bowls, inspired by Iron age "Glastonbury Ware" bowls.
bill glasto bowls More....
bill glasto bowls More ....
bill mini mortaria Bill's mini mortaria.
Bill bowls Bill light oatmeal bowls, well toasted.
Bill urn Bill's urn.



Report and Conclusions


The kiln firing log

Kiln firing log no 34


A very good firing, following a slow climb in temperature, the results were great. Smiles all round! It was great to have so many potters involved with the firing, getting good results.

 Maybe new thermocouple probes are needed, to keep up with the temperature?!

Fears that the packing was too dense were unfounded.

Comments are very welcome - email Bill Crumbleholme

Nix's wares can be seen and purchased at her website and etsy shop :-



Special thanks to all the usual suspects, you know who you are!
Congratulations to Ciaran and Harry - passing their initiation into the joy of wood fuelled firing.
Thanks to Chris and Storm Eunice for the fence panels and posts.