My body aches and I feel dog tired,
My eyes are gritty and my arms are lead,
I've been outside to clear my head,
But I know there's no cure, just rest and wait.
Waiting for tomorrow. It just seems a long way off, no way round it, standing looking at the kiln just does not help. Too hot to touch and the ping, ping, ping as the pots settle is too disconcerting. I just stand staring at the heat shimmering off the chimney. The chickens pecking up the insects killed by the heat. Crane Flies with their ungainly flight, collide with the hot bricks and provide Sunday roast.
I need distraction therapy, even going shopping has been considered. It's intense, hard work firing a wood kiln. Two days packing, glazing pots, lifting heavy batts into position, stacking bricks and wood, chopping kindling and finally the actual firing itself. Once started there is no going back. Light a small fire outside the kiln and slowly introduce it into the firebox. This first part is easy, let your thoughts wander, try to imagine the outcome. Will the glaze run? Will the fly ash leave it's blush on a bottle's shoulder? Who knows, expectation is one thing, reality will be something else.
The first few hours are steady work, go too fast and two months work is lost.
Some action around the 850-900 degree mark to try and get some body reduction and then the real work begins. The heat climbs, the momentum builds, reach 1250 then maintain it. The firebox heat is fierce, protective gear offers some relief. The last four to five hours the concentration is full on, the heat draining. Only a mere fifteen hour day, try selling that to the bureaucrats in Brussels and their working directive. Then at last the final stubborn cone falls. It's done. Block up all the air ways, go eat and sleep.
Apologies to UFO