Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Anagama...25 years of fire
As we move closer to the 25th anniversary firing of the anagama, the days get fuller and fuller! To back up a bit, in case you haven't read all the old posts, 25 years ago Nils decided to have a replica of an 8th century Korean anagama kiln built on the property. Designed by Katsuyuki Sakasume, the kiln is a wood-fired hill-climbing kiln which uses 6 cords of wood for a firing, with 24-hour-a-day stoking for 3-4 days. It can hold 300-500 pots, and requires a week to cool.
The last weekend of February we'll be loading this special commemorative firing, and the following Wednesday night will start the warming fire which will build up to the ultimate temperature of 2400 degrees by some time Saturday.
The kiln has had over 100 firings during the past 25 years, and because it was Nils's vision which created this place of art and community, I am commemorating it by putting together a book about the history, the building, the people, and the events that have marked this 25 year period. Participants have contributed their photos and their stories which will be included in the book (created on blurb.com). Babies have been born and grown up during this time, coming to firings year after year, and some of their stories will be included too.
On the practical side, there have been repairs to the smaller wood-fired kiln on the property (which will be fired at the same time), lots of cleaning in the sleeping cabins, supply lists written and checked off. All in all, it is a long process. And I'm still trying to get some pots together to put in it! Nils has a nice stash of about 30, while it seems everything I have made has cracked in drying. Very frustrating.
We're hoping the mild, spring-like weather holds for the loading and firing as we have done both in snow, wind, rain and sleet, and we much prefer sun and mild temps.
Crocus are in full, full bloom, and the daffodils are opening!