Sunday, May 24, 2009

Call It done-finished-complete the kiln rebuild

I spent the weekend working on the kiln and hold your breath.... ITS FINISHED!!!! It took way longer than i would like but I am really happy with how it all came out the one up side to having to rebuild the kiln is I was able to make a lot of changes. I also had a friend with a welder come out and do some serious reworking of the metal work. So the new kiln is sporting a nice grab bar for puling the car out, turnbuckles on the door to pull it in nice and snug, a door with nice metal framework and a brick chimney with metal bracing. I didn't know if I would get it all done today it was misty in the morning and looked like it was going to rain any minute but the rain held off and I cut the hole in the roof and up the chimney went 14 feet 6 inches high. Now all I have to do is flash around the chimney but that wont stop me from firing latter this week! So thats how I spent my memorial day weekend and I had dinner last night with some friends, a nice potluck.
Hope you all had a great weekend

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A few kiln pix

I got some more done on the kiln yesterday and then spent the part of the day today running around Seagrove picking up some bricks at several pottery shops. I needed a few hundred bricks to finish off the chimney it's always nice to have an excuse to visit the potters around here. They have all been so nice lately with support, both moral support and in a refractory way (bricks and mortar) today. You all know who you are and I cant thank you enough, Seagrove I such a great place to live thanks to the wonderful potters.
I should get the chimney completed tomorrow and then on saturday weld the frame on the door and bracing on the chimney. Then I'll be finished!! wish me luck!!

Thats all from the grove

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dad or Daddy?

Judson Got home today and the first thing he noticed as we pulled down the log driveway, was the hay bails. As we were driving in he said "matthew bailed the hay look there are hay bails!" So I guess he is getting bigger as I said in another post he used to say "hail bays" I kinda wish he still did it was so adorable, first you want them to grow up fast and then they get big so quick. Now for some reason when he turned three the other month he has been calling me dad before that I was daddy. I started correcting him and telling him I like daddy better, I don't know if I am ready to be a dad I was just getting used to daddy and to think before he was born I thought I wanted him to call me Blaine and not dad. I used to think it was so cool when I was a kid I had a few friends that called there parent buy there first names. Now it just doesn't seen right.
Well the first thing judson wanted to do was check out the hay bails and of corse sit on them he loves to do that and the next thing was to check out the progress of the kiln he was so excited.... he said something like did you build that? and looking at the arch and said " how did you put that on there?" Now how do you explain that to a three year old? well I tried and I think it went pretty well, he's pretty quick he even asked why I put cement blocks under the kiln most adults wouldn't notice.
Don't tell me you cant smile after looking at these photos, thanks for looking I'll have some more kiln pix up in the next few days
Thats all from the grove

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A very productive day

I had A very productive day a friend came with his welder and hammer drill. I needed to rework some of the steel on the kiln and its best to do it in place, nothing ever works out as smoothly one would like but there in nothing a man can't fix with the right tools!!!! You now it is all about the tools, the hammer drill was a big help drilling in to the 4000 psi concrete this is one kiln pad i that is not going to crack!
So between talking to customers I got all the metal framework on bolted down to the pad and then put the arch on witch is the most fun part of kiln building. The kiln really starts to take its shape when you get the arch on it.
I the next few days I will build the door, chimney, close in the back wall of the arch and the part a hate to do the most but it has to be done...... cut a hole in the roof of the kiln shed I may need a few more bricks for the chimney a few hard and soft I haven't figured that out yet I think I am close but I I'll do a final count after I build the door. Buy the way that arch form you are looking at is probably the most used arch form in Seagrove and maybe the world! Tom Gray built it for his kiln when he moved here years ago and has been kind enough to let anyone who needs it have at it, this is the second time I've used it! Thanks Tom I'll get it back to you soon I've had it way to long!
So if any of you lurkers out there reading my blog got a few bricks the spare let me know. I think I may need about 25-30 hard brick and 25-50 soft thats my best guess, Used are fine there for the chimney and these are all used brick anyway.
good night all
Sleep well

Friday, May 15, 2009

The kiln goes on....

The kiln goes on...... that reminds me of a book that I read to Judson the bear snores on, It's a good one pick it up. I have spent several days pondering the theories in the kiln book and the Art of Firing and have come up with some of my own. That is if you build it, it will work!!! Just kidding....... after going back and forth over the sizing of the flue I have come up with my own ideas. There is no way that the theories in the kiln book work on all kilns but they do work pretty well and Nils Lou is crazy if he thinks that a 4-1/2 x7 exit flue will work for any kiln any size but it dose work for his kiln at cone 10 reduction but I think it could be a little bigger. So what I decided to do is make my flue a few inches wider for cone ten reduction with two burners firing from the back and then have it expandable to 9-1/2X9 with a knock out brick for the six burner ports on the sides, for oxidation cone six I think but maybe for low fire? Will see? The 9-1/2X9 exit flue is a bit larger than the kiln book recommends but I figure that again I can always make it a little smaller if needed. So the kiln goes on..... I got the walls up today, the gas was hooked up on wednesday and I am starting on putting the metal framework on tomorrow and then the arch that is if I am not to busy talking to customers... I sure hope I am there are worse things that could happen!
that all from the Grove

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

They raked the hay on monday, its always fun to watch them work the pattern was gone for a few days but thn matthew and his dad Doug came back today to bale the hay. Y'all may remember Doug he is the neighbor that helped me build the kiln shed and was a big help when I was building the studio. Doug in not afraid of heights he helped put the roof on and put the widows in the second story, I remember him saying you'll get used to it and I did but not like doug..... he is a little crazy but I don't know if I could have built my place with out him!!! So now he and matthew keep the field up and there is an art to what they do but you cant think to much you just have to let go step back and see what you got when your done. I'm trying to do that lately its harder than you might think give it a try some time, sometimes you know you can over think things.
I hope you don't mind all the images, the last one is on the porch looking out over the field look for some representation on a close up bail on some pots in the near future

Thursday, May 7, 2009

kiln post no.3

Things are moving along, I had to mortar under the cement block to level every thing somehow the only place I screwed up when pouring the concrete was right were the kiln has to sit, thats the way things go sometimes but I think I got it all working level and square!!! I built the car and started building the foundation just about got that done. In the last few days I went and looked at a few kilns in the area, Bruce and Samantha at bull dog pottery, Tom Gray and Jeff and Stephanie at Dean and Martin Pottery. I am thinking about a few changes I want to make in the kiln there is nothing like staring at a pile of about 3000 bricks to gat you to thinking...... I want change the chimney and am thinking about adding burners in the side now I have it set up for two burners entering in the back but I am going to add three burner ports on each side in hopes that it will work better for cone six oxidation, just thinking ahead to a future project, I don't quite know were it will lead. I helps to talk to other potters and look at a number of kilns thats what's great about Seagrove there are so many potters , so many kilns and no one minds taking some time out of there day to lend a hand and give advice its a great community. I like the picture of my helper Riley he barks when i need him to.....
stop buy when you can

time to cut the hay

I love this time of year it's not to hot yet and everything is bursting with new leaves, when I left this morning to take Judson to daycare he asked me when our neighbor Matthew was going to cut the hay..... Its grown like everything else, well at about 1:00 guess who showed up? I love the pattern the rows of hay make the symmetry and order there a little different every time he cuts the hay. Judson loves it to I wish he was here to see it he loves tractors and anything that has to do with farming even though he has made it clear lately that he is going to be a firefighter! Matthew should bail the hay in two or three days or a little longer if if rains, Judson loves to sit on all the bails or as he calls the hail-bays.
well that it from dow in the grove, I have been working on the kiln I'll post son pix latter