‘Anagamania’ -20- 捨間 – ‘Sutema’ (Wasting Chamber) –

Although I kept basic design of kiln shape, my latest anagama ‘Moby’ has several minor changes in details from the kilns I built previously.

Until now, I haven’t shown my ‘Moby’s Sutema’ 捨間. It was done a while ago. The front wall was built just as I designed and I was pleased with it. But I haven’t been very happy about the rear wall. As I originally wanted the diagram ‘A‘ wall, then I changed my mind to the diagram ‘B‘. Somehow I didn’t fancy what I did myself and the outcome at all.
Then over a week ago, I had an idea of ’Gorinto’ 五輪塔 for the rear wall. The rear wall of ’Sutema’ [diagram ‘C‘] doesn’t have to be a tight wall like the front wall with flues. My loose rear ‘Sutema’ wall has become meaningful with 3 elements of Earth(地), Water(水) and Fire(火). That made me happy at last.

(I had rather bad experience with the very tight rear ‘Sutema’ wall when I fired my very first anagama ’Moby Dick’ back in 1996. I had to do something to the rear wall which was working too much. I made a big hole at the back of the chimney in order to take the wall down while someone carried on stoking the wood from the fire-mouth. [someone was Mike Dodd actually] After this big operation on the rear wall, the firing went well to the end.)

“Experience is the name we give to our mistakes.”

My anagama ‘Moby’ 白鯨 doesn’t have ‘an ash-pit’, ‘side stoking holes’ and ‘chimney dampers’, so I don’t have to go up and down around my kiln very often. Just feeding the firebox is my main wood-firing work. As I would like to do a slow and long wood-firing for at least a week, I have to conserve my energy towards the end.

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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