What to Expect When Firing the NHPG Community Kiln
Please read before signing up for a wood-firing!
Firing the kiln is a community event! It's an amazing process and it takes a community to do it. Everyone who has work in the kiln helps to load, fire and unload the kiln. We use slab wood which must be chainsawed, stacked and covered against the weather in time to dry before the firing. If you plan to participate in wood-firing, please come to help with wood and each stage of firing. If you can't do this, please find someone who can substitute for you.
Plan to arrive with bisqued and glazed pots at 9am on the first day. Clay and glazes must be for cone 10 and above. Contact the firing leader with any questions. Some pots can be left unglazed if you want natural ash glaze. We will work all day to wad and load pots into the kiln, starting the fire immediately after (usually early evening). If many people are participating, there may not be enough room for all the pots.
Everyone will work at least 2 six-hour shifts stoking the kiln over the next two days. Shift sign-up happens during the load-in. We will pair experienced and inexperienced people together. Temperatures in the kiln get up to 2300 Farenheit and flames can shoot out of the kiln at you. Protect yourself. Wear natural fiber clothing (cotton, wool, leather) that fully covers your skin and leather shoes. A headscarf to protect your hair and scalp is a good idea. A face shield and welding gloves are provided by the guild. If you'd like to bring your own, that's fine.
Be ready to work preparing wood for the next firing (chainsawing and stacking) when you are not on kiln duty. Bring work gloves.
Bring food, water, snacks. You can bring for yourself or to share. Often it's an informal potluck. Camping on site is possible. Please check with Al about the best spots to pitch a tent. There is an outhouse in the woods for use during the firing.
Carry in, carry out!
We'll set a date to unload the kiln about a week after firing ends. On that day, we'll unload the pots, clean and kiln wash the shelves, and clean the kiln and kiln shed so everything is ready for the next firing. There is a lot of dust generated in this work and a face mask and gloves are a good idea. This process takes 5-6 hours. Please plan to stay for however long it takes to get the job done.
You must be a member of NHPG to fire. After the firing, everyone pays in proportion to the amount of their work in the kiln for a grand total of $600.
The kiln is located at Al Jaeger's place: 12 Perry Road, Deerfield, NH 03037