of the firing in October 2003
(cheminee = chimney, alandier=firebox)
The preheat went well and everyone is in good spirits,
so on the second Friday we let the temperature climb furiously...
Not a reasonable thing to do if we don't want to break everything.
The 3m high stacks of pots don't like that very much! So we calm
down and start the temperature climbl gently. The temperature probe
behind the hearth (in red) ended up by melting down at 1200°
and the stokers continued stoking by looking at the flames, listening
to the kiln and the smell of the smoke, with a squint at the pyrometric
cones from time to time through the furnace...
Phases of the firing:
1/ The Preheat:
This phase corresponds to drying out the kiln.
Duration: about 10 days, until Thursday.
Type of wood used: Trunks, very large branches and stumps
2/ The Small fire:
During this phase the temperature goes up to about
1000 degres Celcius. This has to be done slowly since most of the
pots are completely unfired. It is also important to accumulate
lots of embers in the firebox.
Duration: about 3 days (Friday to Sunday).
Type of wood used: Large pieces of oak.
3/ The Large fire:
Climb up to 1300 degrees at the front and as near
as possible in the rest of the kiln. The wood is supplied through
an opening above the heap of embers and it explodes practically
instantly. We select wood that produces the longest possible flames
in order to heat the back of the kiln. At this point you can see
the flames coming out of the other end of the kiln, up to and including
Duration: about 2 days (Monday and Tuesday).
Type of wood used: Split oak, acacia, birch, and some faggots
4/ The cooling down:
Temperature descending as slowly as possible. The
chimney and firebox are hermetically sealed. This has to be done
rapidly when the kiln is at its hottest at the end of the firing.
Duration: about 3 to 4 weeks.