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" Woden" - Wood Fired Kiln - The 38th Firing!

This page records the 38th firing of the Woden kiln scheduled for Friday 17th November 2023. It is an archive of photographs taken before, during and after the firing, these and the words will be added as stuff happens!

Mail Chimp mass emails have been sent out to folk usually interested in these firings. If you did not get  copies and want them email bill@upweypotters.com

There is now a Whats App group for these firings, if you want to be invited to join that please contact us.

You can also use that email address to contact Bill about anything else.

If you have arrived here from the "ticket" link on the Facebook event (https://fb.me/e/7ps6wM4Fg), do not panic! That is just an easy way to highlight this page from Facebook. There are no tickets or even any charges to attend - although there is a negotiable charge per kg for firing pottery.

No significant changes are being made to the kiln structure. The firebars in the fireboxes needed were repaired and some replaced, gaps between the fire boxes and chimney tunnel will filled with fire cement (thanks Dale!). Some of the external ceramic fibre insulation panels were repaired.


Menu for sections on this Page:-

Making Pots

Loading Pots

Firing Kiln

Unloading Pots


Making Pots -

thrown mortaria Bill has started the ball rolling by throwing these small mortaria bowls to celebrate his birthday week, 25kg cut into the number of years old he claims to be! A task he has been doing for many decades.
These are designed to be sets of 3 stacking, short wide/medium/tall thin.
turned mortaria Those mortaria with their feet turned smooth and starting to dry out.
car load of scrap wood To celebrate the car passing the MOT Bill loaded it up with scrap wood from Buildrite the local builders merchants.
That should provide some heat!
pallet lorry
Many thanks to John Penfold & Daughter, the local pallet merchants who kindly delivered stacks of pallets that they cannot use or are broken.
Thanks to Luke for off-loading them with his forklift.
Thanks to a passing Ian for supervising!
broken up pallets Bill spent to day breaking up and stacking away the light weight pallets. These should burn well.
Space left beyond for a delivery of Nikki's hazel branches.
unbroken pallets Unbroken pallets, left by Bill for other younger potters to break up!
pile of pallets Plus a few stacks dumped down the hill, in the style of a site specific art installation !?
fireboxes cleaned A view of the fireboxes from above, with the chamber floor shelves removed.
The bars across the boxes were mended and replaced.
Also gaps between the fireboxes and the central tunnel were filled in with fire cement - thank you Dale!

Loading Pots

back almost filled The rear section of the chamber almost filled.
An assortment of Bill's pots with offerings from his classes, Nix, Richard, Simon and Lulu.
Lulu glazing Lulu glazing in the rain.
Tussi's head Tussi's head.
This firing's "Kiln God"!
With one of Richard's large urns behind.
Nix and Imogen loading Nix and Imogen loading.
Bill's unwanted pots Bill took home his pots that did not make the cut for this firing.
Some were not dry enough, some were raw glazed and the glaze started to peel off, most were squeezed out by the high demand for space from other members of the crew. There are 4 more large mortaria bowls, which didn't fit in this image.
However there is always the next firing (isn't there?!)
screen A screen to keep the rain out while the door was bricked up.
last peek Last peek, before the brick door was completed.
Bill had made a few last minute rearrangements to fit a couple more pots in.
bricked up All neatly bricked up.
hazel stackers A couple of loads of coppiced hazel were delivered, thanks to the Hawkins.
hazel stack All of this was burnt during the day and night, together with various scrap timbers, pallets etc.

Firing Kiln -

alight The first flames.
The preheat was started much earlier than usual, at 2.30pm.
The kiln got a bit too hot very soon, but none of the raw glazed, unbiscuited pots, were heard exploding.
Ciaran Ciaran turned up in the evening to help stoke and eat cake!
The stoking continued gradually building up the temperature. Boredom set in about 11pm and the preheat was over, so the stoking began more enthusiastically.
By daybreak the reading was over 800C.
morning has broken Morning has broken, all is quiet.
The morning crew The morning crew settle in and take over stoking, the night staff went off for some rest.
breakfast delivery Breakfast was delivered with a smile by the landlord, what a splendid chap.
breakfast served Ciaran's slumber was disturbed for food.
1100 1100C by 14.30pm.

1000C had been reached by 10.15am

All strangely ahead of normal timings.

The stoking carried on, but the rate of increase in temperature slowed right down, as usual.

By 16.30pm it was 1150C

The fish and chip feast arrived and was eaten.
Sadly the temperature reading fell quickly by 100C. But the team struggled on with some rain not helping to maintain the Zen approach.
22.30 While Bill was resting in his car and avoiding the rain, the crew magically improved the digital reading quickly by 100C, all they had to do was push the thermocouple probe back fully into the sheath, thus hitting the hot kiln chamber, not the middle of the wall brick!

So at 22.30pm all was looking much better!

The Cone 8 was hinting at thinking of bending (according to Richard who can sense these things!)
3 firers 3 firers
1 firer And Birgit the other side, her first taste of the kiln late night shift.
bill supervising Bill supervising the firing.
1170C By midnight 1170C was turning up, as the temperature fluctuated up and down.

The cone 8 was definitely considering the option of bending over.

Another hour was spent soaking the kiln, keeping the glazes molten to mature them.

By 1am the cone was as far gone as necessary, as were several of the potters!

So the firing was shut down. All the gaps filled up, the portcullis inserted to cut off the chimney, the chimney damper bricks removed to cut down the pull.
good night all And the team disconnected the lighting and headed for home.
Apart from Ciaran who stayed to keep the kiln company, sleeping by the firebox door.

Unloading Pots

ciaran unbricking Ciaran starting the unbricking.
Letting out the final heat - opened at about 200C.
early reveal Early reveal.
Looking good.
cones 10 and 11 Cones 10 and 11 from close to where the flames reach the top left side.
Looks warm enough!
unbricked All the bricked removed to reveal the pottery.
Birgit getting ready to unload.
team unloading Team unloading.
horace Martin and his new friend Horace, the ceramic slug, soon to appear in salads?!
richard's gifts from the kiln Richard's large shiny white bowl, complete with gifts from the kiln's roof brickwork which is slowly peeling away...
The Wednesday class kiln dragon The Wednesday class kiln dragon.
back revealled The rear sectiobn of the kiln chamber revealled.
nice brown pots Nice brown pots.
All Bill's pots All Bill's Pots, bases ground smooth and washed.
bill crawled pots Some of Bill's raw glazes crawled a bit!
bill's underfired A few of Bill's from the bottom reaches were underfired.
These will be refired in the electric kiln.
Bill's small mortaria Bill's small mortaria.
The right are underfired, the left are alright!
bill large mortaria Bill's large mortaria came out very well.
Bill's fish Bill's fish.
Bill's odd pots Bill's unusal pots (for him).
dale dark Dale's dark glaze.
debbie test Debbie's small test bowl. Bath Potters BP11S glaze.
debbie test Debbie's test.
Dick Lehmann Horseman Tenmoku.
helen sculpture Helen's small sculpture, testing iron rich slips.











Report and Conclusions


The kiln firing log -

firing log


Many, many thanks to everyone involved with this firing.

Comments are very welcome - email Bill Crumbleholme