Joe and I fired the second chamber of the kiln on Sunday with the help of Luke Studer and Bob Feth. It was a nice and easy firing, the easiest I've ever done. We had no problem getting temperature and all cones were within about a quarter of each other. I was worried it was too easy, meaning the pots probably would not be nice. I know that is pretty pessimistic of me but I've been let down so many times in the past I was prepared for the worst. Most of the pots in the kiln were Triangle Brewing Mugs for their Black Friday celebration. I had a lot of eggs in one big ole kiln basket, but they all turned out great! I am so pleased with the kiln and the results. Here are a few pictures of the mugs.
Here is a view inside the kiln. We stacked the kiln very loosely. I imagine we could get four times the amount of pots in that we did. We needed to fire the kiln to top temperature because we are going to bisque fire the tatami brick next. Joe thought that it was a good way to make sure all mortar and castable were dry/set while simultaneously testing the bagwall. Also I did not have time to fill the kiln but had an order for about 75 mugs. When I decided to make the mugs back in the summer I imagined I'd be renting a kiln to fire them, I did not realize I would be in the middle of building a kiln. Anyway, it all worked out!
On Tuesday we continued making the tatami bricks. Here is a photo of Joe, Matt and I after we finished. Yea! This involved lots of wedging of groggy clay, my hands are glad to be done.
On Wednesday, Steven and I worked on the first chamber wall. Thanks to Steven it is very level. I was losing my patience and also starting to hit my limit of brick laying. You would think it would get easier but the trick is that the bricks are not all quite the same size. Eventually Steven started measuring the thickness and the hard bricks. They were in a range of 2.25 inches, 2.5 inches and 2.75 inches. It was hard to fit these brick in with the consistently sized soft brick. At least it's not me, it's the brick! We finally got them level with lots of mortar.
Joe worked on the main firebox, isn't the little arch cute! Joe was in the zone when working on the firebox, it was quite interesting to watch him work.