It was honestly a bit of a scramble to decide in late August that we should try to turn over a firing in a mere eight weeks. I am happy (and, yes, a bit tired) to report that we totally. did. it.
This was by far the smallest window of time we'd given ourselves to fill all 350+ cubic feet of our large kiln. We plugged away through the month of September, and Nathan threw lots of big bowls and crocks, which helped a lot. We were also super lucky to have the contributions - in pottery as well as time!! - of several other local potters, who agree to trade labor for kiln space, an arrangement everyone seems to enjoy. The wood had been prepped well in advance, and was sheltered under our very large kiln shed, a thing of beauty for which we will no doubt be eternally grateful.
We gave ourselves a much bigger window to load the kiln - nearly two weeks - which was a nice change of pace from what has historically been a last-minute all-hours push. As they say, kids change everything, and we decided it would be a lot more sane to work the loading into our normal daily routine. And yet somehow (why, why, why???) we were still bricking up the doors late into the night before we were scheduled to begin . . . sigh.
This firing was characterized by a nearly constant rain, but thankfully, we stayed warm and dry throughout. The fourth and final day of the firing was smooth, and we pulled many very lovely clay rings from the kiln, promising the hope of many beautiful pots within.
We were not disappointed. I'm sure at some point, we'll have to stop saying "this was our best firing yet," but IT WAS. It's tough to let the kiln cool for a full week for a peek at what lies within, but it was- and always is- worth the wait.