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A new wood kiln for the Quarry

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A new wood kiln for the Quarry

Post  Jeremy Ashford on Thu 1 Jun - 16:38

I have been relatively quiet on the forum for the last month as most my time has been spent at the Quarry Arts Centre helping build the new kiln.

The old bricks here come from "Julie Ann", the kiln Barry Brickell built for Yvonne Rust decades ago. Julie Ann was dismantled in 2015.

I made a commitment to the Quarry to work on the kiln and although it has taken longer than expected (for reasons largely beyond our control) I have thoroughly enjoyed it.

The kiln was designed by committee, and all design and construction decisions are open to discussion, but ultimately Quarry trustee Mike Regan leads the project.


Here (today) Mike (left) can be seen with our steel man, artist Peter Brammer, partner of Julie Cromwell. The shiny object in the foreground is the form for the chamber arch.

Many volunteers helped out in the early stages, largely cleaning bricks, but the day-to-day team comprises Mike, Peter Yeates, Paul Mann, and myself.

The hard work involved is well balanced by the daily interaction with Mike, Pete, and Paul (all potters) and the trickle of Quarry regulars, strangers, and other potters dropping by for a visit, including Dave Wolland (on the design committee), David Huffman, Greg Barron, and Richard Parker.

I have also got to know Julie Cromwell and Peter Brammer quite well and have visited their Maungatapere studios for a raku firing a fortnight ago, and earlier this week an experimental firing of Julie's small wood kiln.


Peter Yeates looks on as Julie takes a break from feeding the fire.

Peter Y has made the forms for the firebox and chamber arches so laying of arches and chimney will continue as soon as the steel is ready, tomorrow most likely. I'll be back.
---------
10/6/17
This was the state of play at end of work Thursday 8th.

kiln with firebox arch completed,
welsh arch(es) to firebox opening(s),
chimney to roof

I had to move some roof framing and run new bracing to change the chimney hole slightly from the existing one from Juli Ann.

Yesterday we had a change of direction with the start of the chamber arch, but I have no photo yet. We have laid three courses out of 20 using the old arch bricks from Julie Ann, and it is looking beautiful. To complete we have some serious cleaning (hammer, grinder) to do on the old bricks and may come up short. We need a total of 200. If all else fails we can lift the chamber floor, which will provide enough bricks in good clean condition.


Last edited by Jeremy Ashford on Sat 17 Jun - 1:42; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : correct spelling of a name)
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Jeremy Ashford

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Location : Whangarei, New Zealand
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Re: A new wood kiln for the Quarry

Post  Maryr on Thu 1 Jun - 16:44

What a brilliant project to be involved in Jeremy.  And so much history at the Quarry.... Wonderful.
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Re: A new wood kiln for the Quarry

Post  Ev on Thu 1 Jun - 16:50

I'm delighted to hear this Jeremy, as this experience will enrich your life forever and create a bond with that kiln.  Wood firings are amazing and give wonderful natural glazes where the ash and flames lick the pottery.  Fantastic news!!  Bravo cheers
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Re: A new wood kiln for the Quarry

Post  Jeremy Ashford on Sat 15 Jul - 16:45

See the Quarry facebook page for loading the completed kiln for the first firing yesterday: https://www.facebook.com/quarry.centre/

Photos show Mike Regan loading. I hear that David Huffman and Paul Mann were assisting. Lots of great photos by Dave. I recognise work by Mike, Susie, and I think I see some of Dave's too.

So sad to be missing out on this experience while overseas but I'll be there to see the results in a couple of days. Hopefully be more involved with another firing later in the year.

My work on the kiln ended with the building of the firebox doors a week and a half back. It's looking lovely with the arches roofed in ochre and Pete Brammer's steelwork all done. Also note the Peter Yeates' green man adorning the chimney.

I'll add some photos here when I get back home.
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Re: A new wood kiln for the Quarry

Post  Kat & Co. on Sun 16 Jul - 10:11

Fires lit 2pm yesterday.. cheers 10am this morning its still steaming!! so Mike is keeping temp down, all going well here! Its getting exciting!!!!!!! drunken
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Re: A new wood kiln for the Quarry

Post  Kat & Co. on Sun 16 Jul - 12:51

Sweaty Betty!! Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Re: A new wood kiln for the Quarry

Post  Kat & Co. on Sun 16 Jul - 21:26

..9pm.. 1300 reached & soaking now bounce cheers
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Re: A new wood kiln for the Quarry

Post  Ev on Mon 17 Jul - 7:28

Wowweeee how terribly exciting !!!
Looking forward to seeing the results Very Happy
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Re: A new wood kiln for the Quarry

Post  Jeremy Ashford on Wed 19 Jul - 16:55

I returned to Whangarei, and the Quarry, Monday afternoon to be greeted by Mike and Kat (just lucky timing) with a rundown of the weekend's events. The kiln was shut down at 11.11 Sunday night but of course it was still very hot just 13 hours later.


This first firing was not uneventful as the buildup of steam between the layers of the chamber wall was sufficient to "pop" a few bricks (millimetres, not right out!) but once the moisture from building, and recent storms, was driven out "Sweaty Betty" showed herself to be fast and efficient, with only a fraction of the available timber burned, and very controllable, with the temperature rise halted at cone ten (1300 degrees) down with just a slight deflection in cone 11 (1320).

Mike says Betty has received Greg Barron's mark of approval.

I asked Mike to take a bow and this is what he came up with.


The interior of the kiln chamber was still at 160 degrees when I arrived at the Quarry this morning, Wednesday, two whole days plus a night since the firing ended. Mike had uncovered the chimney, pulled all the spies, and removed the firebox doors to help cooling before opening the wicket began at about 10. I got to open the chimney wicket.


Mike, Paul, and Amorangi commented very favourably on my firebox doors. Even at the peak of the firing they remained cool enough to be removed with bare hands, but as I was not there I don't know what actually happened. When loading fire wood into a kiln you are gloved up. Paul said the doors did heat up later, as did the whole exterior of the kiln.


David Huffman is the official photographer for this firing and his photos will appear on his own facebook page, and on the Quarry Arts one, linked earlier, as they are loaded. Here's a teaser.


I'll post my own work in first fired pieces:
http://www.newzealandpottery.net/t967p50-first-fired-pieces#19952

See the photos as David posts them. Shots from the firing were posted on the 17th and there is also a movie of the chimney flame.
https://www.facebook.com/david.huffman.7982?fref=ts

(More kiln stuff later, and elsewhere, as I post some pics from my visit to Bendigo.)
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Re: A new wood kiln for the Quarry

Post  Kat & Co. on Wed 19 Jul - 20:03

Thankyou guys.. I'm super happy with my results!  :loveit:
Jeremy already had dibs on the mug before it was bisqued..& I have no idea where the brown came from?? that was a clear glaze I put on it.. Very Happy

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Re: A new wood kiln for the Quarry

Post  Jeremy Ashford on Wed 19 Jul - 23:57

Brown, brown, and more brown.
There was quite a bit of unexpected brown in this firing. Because of a short period of reduction, I think that was Greg Barron's explanation, the expected black did not appear on any of the pieces with the supplied Tenmoku glaze. Also, all the shino, for which Greg supplied the recipe (but did not make), came out brown too. Greg thought there may have been too much iron added, and also suggested that it might have been applied too thickly as on some of the shino pieces there was significant crawling too, some of which I quite liked but certainly not what people were expecting.

I think there was also some green on Kat's mug.

The only glaze I used was my own ash glaze (Avondale clay and ash from Kat's fireplace), although for reasons I might explain elsewhere I ended up putting some commercial clear over the top, which produced some unexpected blue pooling. I had quite a few pieces in the kiln (mostly low fired in the chimney) but there are only three of any significance, which I will put in this topic as Kat has shown hers here. The one on the left was fired in one of the throat arches and felt the full effect of the flame, ash and klinker. It will need some work with a grinder to clean it up as among other things glaze has solidified in the wadding, but it's exactly what I asked for. The other two sat on the bag wall as Mike correctly anticipated some glaze run. After the throat arches this was the hottest spot in the kiln. I'm thrilled.
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Re: A new wood kiln for the Quarry

Post  Ev on Thu 20 Jul - 8:45

Tremendous results Jeremy and Kat !!!!
I checked out Greg Barron's photos on Facebook and was totally enthralled by the variety of effects achieved. There was one heck of a lot of pots in that firing! I loved seeing the blush from the flames and ash. There are always unexpected results, but that is part of the joy of wood firing. Excellent and congrats to everyone Very Happy
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Re: A new wood kiln for the Quarry

Post  teaandcoffee on Thu 20 Jul - 11:32

The results look fantastic. It reminds me of the age of the little brown pot, which imho should really read "the gorgeous brown pot". You guys would have been showered with awards for these pots in the 1970s. Sweaty Betty sounds like a retro kinda gal. Yvonne Rust will be smiling down from above...

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Re: A new wood kiln for the Quarry

Post  miranda g on Sat 22 Jul - 13:00

Hello everyone - To the potters (hi Jeremy) in Whangarei : Brilliant work! Your mugs, pots and owls are gorgeous - you must have had so much fun. I'm happy for you. Congratulations!

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