Wood-firing (kamataki) in Czech Republic

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Here’s some images from our wood-firing at the symposium last month.  I took my tea bowls to the Czech Republic but couldn’t carry my old camera to take photos.  I had no time to be a photographer anyway. 

While the students were away to visit a porcelain factory and a glass-making studio, Lukas and I prepared for the firing a couple of days earlier than scheduled.  We wanted to make sure that we could open and unpack the kiln in the afternoon on Sunday (the last day of the event).  After glazing some pots, the trolley kiln was packed carefully from Wednsday afternoon until  late evening and everyone helped.

We started the firng at 11 a.m. on Thursday.  We had many volunteers for the shift to help stoking firewood.  It took 30 hours to reach 1260, our desired temperature.  We stopped firing the kiln after a few more hours of soaking and closed it.  We all celebrated our successful firing with bottles of champagne and wine, and enjoyed a lovely supper the girls had prepared.

The kiln was cooling very slowly.  The next day (Satusday), Lukas and I had time to go to Prague and do some shopping.

Everyone was keen on opening and unpacking the kiln on Sunday. We opened it in the afternoon, and all seemed to be happy with the good firing results.

Lucas and I made a good team and we were really pleased to find a nice local clay that worked just like Japanese clay.  It was more than we had expected.  I do hope I will be able to go back to Jurta again and run other workshops for young students some day.

(photos by friends at the symposium)

About Gas

Hi, I am a wood-fire potter, living and working in the Japanese tradition in Tring, Hertfordshire (UK). Following mediaeval potter's wisdom, I design and build simple wood-fired kilns called 'anagama' for long period of firing and 'raku-gama' for quick (glazed tea bowl) firing. My anagama firing usually takes 9 - 10 days.
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4 Responses to Wood-firing (kamataki) in Czech Republic

  1. kasia(from Poland:) says:

    Hi,
    I just saw your blog with the photos from symposium..Interesting describe:).It was really nice time for everyone I think. If you want you can see the report from the symposium on the webside of our Academy:
    http://www.asp.wroc.pl/wyswietl.php?nr=1305&rodzaj=aktual

    see you:)

  2. Armelle says:

    Hello Gas, thanks to share these photos, you look as a ghost, without arms !!! ha ha ha !!! This kiln door is very confortable. bye

  3. John B says:

    Hi Gas,

    I like your blog in general and these pictures in particular. This is the most industrial anagama I have ever seen, far too neat! Looks like it’s good to fire.

  4. Armelle says:

    Not a ghost, a spirit of fire, these small elementals, the alchemists salamander, the transformation of lead into gold ……………………

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