Manor Stokes Woodfiring Group – Test firing
On May 5th we test fired the Manor Lodge Smokeless, Urban, Wood Kiln. Everyone who had taken part in its creation during the week – long kiln building course already understood the theory of its design: the air inlets, bourry box and flame path. We also intimately knew of its hidden internal structure and of its arches, brick by brick. We fired it full of pots that had been made in the adjacent pottery workshop during the building week.
The kiln worked like a dream!
The firing took 14 hours, reaching cone 9 throughout plus cone 10 in all but the very top. A few puffs of smoke were emitted while reducing at top temperatures. As this was a test firing we felt we had to push it to find out how smokeless it really was. However, it is clear that there is no need to reduce this heavily. The kiln reached the desired temperature evenly and achieved 100% reduction in the glazes and clay bodies without smoke. There was some flashing throughout the kiln, particularly on pots on the edges of shelves, also ash effects on pots on the kiln floor and bottom shelves. We used mostly Earthstone Reduction body (though there were other stoneware bodies) and porcelain: the glazes were familiar to us and had already been tried and tested. Many local potters came to see it at work and on the unpacking day an eager group had gathered in anticipation. Many thanks to everyone who built the kiln, produced the first pots and took part in the test firing; and to those who came along to give support and encouragement at its launch. We are now very keen to fire it again and want to offer the opportunity to more potters and sculptors in clay. Become a member and enjoy regular firings see Membership under Manor Lodge Woodfiring Group page on this site.