The anagama firing ended on Saturday afternoon after one of the smoothest firings ever. Two high schools and two colleges were invited to this firing, and the students turned out in impressive numbers to stoke the kilns, split the wood, eat and socialize. We had over 67 different people here during the cycle of firing, and many of those came 2 or 3 different times. Young energetic guys and gals split firewood and hauled it to the kilns in a seemingly endless chain, and stayed up to stoke in the wee hours in the night. Lots of clean up and fix up work also got done, a bonus.
Saturday at 10 a.m. the kilns will be opened and the still warm pots will be pulled out one by one, the heavy kiln shelves will be handed out and stacked, and the whole yard will fill with the bounty that resulted from many peoples' energy and creativity.
Off to the new garden Nils and I created this year. The sun-warmed earth is perfect for germination, and new seedlings appear every few hours. The maple leaves are just unfolding their little wrinkled selves, but a few more days will have them fully unfurled. The dogwood is fully budded and promises its usual spectacular but fleeting display. New plants have found homes where the difficult winter took its toll, flowering trees continue their sequential bloom, and we continue to clean up the debris left in the forest by a record-breaking two feet of snow that hung on the trees for 10 days this winter before starting to melt (or before the branches broke under the weight). The cycle of life. I love spring!