Monday, June 14, 2010

Hotter than hot

Here's what the wood kiln at Cedar Creek looked like on Saturday before we bricked the door. Remarkably (though not unusually), we got all but one of our pots into the kiln.

Laura and Lisa started firing at 5am Sunday morning. By the time I arrived at 12:30pm, Teresa, Di, and Rob were also there, cranking up the heat. Lisa and Laura headed home, Deb arrived shortly thereafter, and we fired until 6:30pm--13.5 hours total to get the kiln up to cone 9, +/-.

Di and I started planning this firing on a cold, rainy day in February, considering possible weekends in April, May, and June. It's hard to remember, in February, quite how stinking hot and humid it can be in North Carolina in June. Sunday was about 97oF in the shade, and we added wood and raked coals until the kiln was ~2300oF. We all wore long pants, long-sleeved shirts, leather welder's gloves, and closed shoes to protect our skin from the heat.

Thus it was that I learned about the powerful magic of otherwise cloying sports drinks. We all became liquid processing plants, converting a steady intake of water and Gatorade into several gallons of sweat. We froze wet towels to wrap around our necks, and found occasional brief respite in front of an AC unit in a nearby studio workspace. I know I have a tendency to exaggerate, but I think we were lucky that no one keeled over.

Around 4pm, a thunderstorm suddenly blew in. Never has a change in the weather been more welcome in the entire history of humankind.

Despite the heat, it was still mostly fun, as hard work with industrious goal-oriented friends tends to be. Plus the misery of excessive temperatures fades in the cool air-conditioned comfort of the next day.

Stay tuned: we unload the kiln on Thursday.

1 comment:

Rae said...

I think I see my chicken in there.