Return to Home Page about Woden

" Woden" - Wood Fired Kiln - The 37th Firing!

This page records the 37th firing of the Woden kiln planned for 24th June 2023. It is an archive of photographs taken before, during and after the firing.

No changes are planned for the structure of the kiln, although some landscaping has been done to remove a dead tree stump and create a new patio area! Also the rusted out metal cabinet used to store kiln furniture has been replaced with a Hammerited version.

If you have come here via the Facebook event page, following the link marked "tickets", do not panic! There are no tickets. There is no entry fee, except the need to bring cake and other refreshments! If you want to engage with the Facebook Event then follow this link https://fb.me/e/xhxdvEH9.

Contact Bill Crumbleholme bill@beakerfolk.co.uk


Menu for sections on this Page:-

Making Pots

Loading Pots

Firing Kiln

Unloading Pots


Making Pots -

richard throwing Ricard throwing 3 large bowls, 3kg, 4kg and 5.5kg.
richard thrown Richard - proud of his largest bowl.
Beakerfolk/wood-kiln/WodenFiring37/richarddropped.mp4 Link to video of Richard's bowl with a cracked base meeting its doom!
bill thrown mortaria
Bill's production line of mortaria, thrown, turned and some raw glazed with light oatmeal.

Loading Pots

Bill fish First in - Bill's fish and Laurence's tall twisted granite encrusted vase on its side.
start of day 3 After the first two days of loading, by Bill and Imogen.
Also featuring some of Otto's long awaited pieces.
back almost loaded Back section of the chamber almost filled. For a change almost all of Bill's pots found a home, the tactic of being the first to load!
closer look at back top A closer look at the back top packing.
Bill's bowls risking being visited by bits of the ceiling falling in on them - perhaps related a bit to a Celtic Iron Age fear of the sky falling on your head?!
Mark and furnace god Mark pondering over his newly loaded bronze furnace / kiln god.
front after Nick The front after Nick and Sam loaded.
Nikki preparing to load.
nikki and dale loading Dale glazing and Nikki loading.
two thirds of front filled Two thirds filled, after Dale and Nikki's wares are loaded.
Helen loading Helen loading.
Going for the prize for most unstable narrow based small sculpture!
Portland Museum & Pat pebble 3 of Dale's dishes with the Portland Museum logo and Pat's large "pebble" vase (on its side).
Elivis is in the kiln "Elvis is in the Kiln!"
Birgit loading her sculpture with tail feathers nicknamed Elvis.
The patio area cleared The patio area has been cleared of the old dead tree stump.
lottie loaded Lottie all loaded! Ready to brick up.
Laurence looking Laurence popped in a few time to inspect.
All bricked up and about to light up.

Firing Kiln -

5.30am 5.30am and all is well.
The fireboxes were lit at 4pm and then left to burn out until 10pm, then they were relit and the preheat proper began.
Logs stoked every hour through the night, by nightwatchman, Bill, sleeping in the lounger in front of the kiln.
tree stump fuel The rotten tree stump, used as fuel through the night, together with slab wood.
This did not produce much heat.
late night crew Nick, Lottie and Richard - The Late Night Crew!
The firing had continued through the day, behind schedule because of the late start and by the tea-time feast it was apparent the kiln was being very slow to heat up.
1000C was not reached until 6pm. 1100 was managed by 1.30am and then the temperature varied by +-30C.
cones not gone The cones were still upright at 3am, when Nick and Richard left. Lottie and Bill kept the fires going until morning, but failing to rise the digits.
diane stoking Diane arrived at 7.30am, when her family had not returned and was given a crash course in stoking, which she took too very well - as an ex-guide leader!
diane carrying Diane also carried in more fuel.
Nick returned and Lulu turned up in the late morning.
By midday all hope was abandoned and the kiln was shut down and clamped up.

Unloading Pots

first peek The crew returned the next morning and started the unloading.
The first peek looked more promising than what was expected.
A cone had bent over and glazes looked mature.
top front left Richard's "moon jar" in the top left.
Very slightly matt surface where ash had not quite melted for long enough.
The cone 8 was well over.
top front right The top front right side.
More OK pots.
Richard unbricking Richard unbricking.
Still a bit warm, but patience was wearing thin!
Richard unbricked Richard with the door unbricked.
Some areas of immature glaze, but quite a bit OK.
cabinet full The new cabinet was a bit smaller than the previous one, but all the shelves and props just fitted.
Mark's furnace base Mark's furnace base, looking smug!?
smark furnace assembled The "Smark Furnace" assembled, ready to melt bronze for casting.
elvis Birgit's "Elvis" bird and assembled kiln gods.
Nix jugs Nix Jugs.
Nicely toasted.
Class pots Some of Bill's class's pots.
The white was not as flecked by ash as normal.
Sarah Sarah's pots and some of her class's.
Dale Dale's pots.
These were mostly in the hot left side and got a good blast of heat and ash.
Dale museum dishes Dale's dishes for the Portland Museum.
Lottie Lottie's pots.
The Olive Green copper glaze has reduced towards red in places.
bill Some of Bill's bowls.
The Light Oatmeal was mostly not matured, with rough patches. These will have to be refired.
bill But Bill's standard brown glaze worked very well.
bill fish Bill's fishes were nicely toasted and lids came off without sticking.
However most of the internal glaze was milky and crawled.
watch this space for more images if they arrive!  











Report and Conclusions


The kiln firing log -

firing log graph

The temperatures used are those recorded by the top thermocouple, the calibration is suspect, so cones are a more reliable measure of actual heat work done. However the changes in temperature are accurately plotted. For the first time in living memory the bottom thermocouple sometimes sensed a higher temperature than the top one.

Not the best recent firing!  The spyhole cones did not bend at all, but some did bend in the hotter places where the flames arrived from the fireboxes, there the glazes also matured OK.

But quite a few pots had been underfired and will need refiring. Especially the light oatmeal glaze. A long firing helped to mature the glazes, but the ash deposits were not sticking to the pots so thickly.

The reasons for not reaching high enough temperature are still being considered. There were large build ups of embers in the firebox away from the chimney, this stiffled the wood burning above, stealing the incoming oxygen. The packing was not as dense as some previous loadings. A gentle breeze blew some of the time, but generally it was very still.

There may have been too many kiln gods, perhaps arguing amongst themselves?! Lottie's attempt to appease them by throwing a glove into the firebox appeared to work for her own pots!

Many thanks to all the potters involved, especially those who went the extra mile or so!

Comments are very welcome - email Bill Crumbleholme