Today I build brick ovens that need not reach temperatures higher than 800 F. But there is still high temperature material, FIRE and at the end, a wonderful product.
Last weekend, I joined my friend, Willi Singleton in Kempton, PA to fire his norborigama kiln at Pine Creek Pottery. The twenty-two hour firing brought together Willi's many friends, colleagues, and students for a round-the-clock effort.
|Willis starting the fire in a lower chamber|
For those unfamiliar with the process of making clay into pottery, Willi's approach is complete.
|first fires are stoked in a lower chamber|
The wood that fires the kiln is local from sawmills.
Noborigama kilns are built on a hill. This kiln has four chambers, with the exit ports of each passing to chamber above. A 25 foot double chimney creates the draft to pull the flames through the chambers.
It is an elemental experience. The forms, materials and skills are timeless.
Like brick oven building and baking, it is a link to our ancestors.
|After a long night, the stoking proceeds to special ports in the pottery chamber itself|
|a couple of the families|
have been helping to fire the kiln
since their children were young
|ports are stoppered with clay after the kiln reaches temperature|