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Every year I make the trek down to Alsea, Oregon to fire with my longtime friend and fellow potter, Jay Widmer, at his Alsea Anagama kiln.

I love firing my pots here for several reasons. First, the effects the wood ash imparts on my animal pieces can be truly spectacular and reveals a life-like spirit. There is also a stong community of potters associated with Jay's kiln and the 4 day loading and firing is a chance for me to catch up with friends both old and new.

photos from fall 2012 wood firing
pat photo That's me in front of the 4 cords of wood we will use to fire the kiln over the course of 2 days.
Before the pots are loaded into the kiln, they have to be "prepped" which includes a light application of a shino glaze and applying wadding to the bottom of the piece to prevent it from sticking to the kiln shelf. pat prepping pots
pre fire pot Here's a view of the pots as they look before going into the kiln. The pictcher on the left is showing some unusual crystallization in the glaze.
Teddy, our new goldendoodle, is helping me side-stoke the kiln. Wood is added to the front of the kiln in large pieces, and on both sides with smaller pieces. Side-stoking helps raise the temperature in the back of the kiln. firing photo
firing crew This is our firing crew at the end of the firing. We started the firing on Friday at around 4pm and finished up at 6pm on Sunday. The kiln was continuously stoked during this time. Night duties for everyone!