On the surface one firing is much the same as another in this little kiln, but when I go back through the log sheets I can see that I now fire for longer and get much hotter, with much more confidence than those first few firings. Some potters give their kilns exotic names:- Eclipse, Solstice, Phoenix, which suggests an intimacy I don't yet feel I have earned. I don't have a name for mine; just little kiln. It's a tool that completes the final part in the long process of making a pot.
We have a love hate relationship. I hate it when the temperature resolutely refuses to climb. I love it when I take down the bricks to the wicket and there are treasures within.
The start and finish are always the same, what happens between varies slightly, but compare the log sheets and the similarities are amazing, it just doesn't seem that way when the concentration is full on and the outcome so critical. This little kiln knows it's own way home now and the stoker is an interloper, fussing and messing, not always listening or alive to the signs being given out.
So some small lessons learned that can be taken on to firing no. 20, the quest for knowledge about what really happens inside that red hot, bricked up space continues.
Kiln and stoker consider themselves satisfied, both are doing well. There is only one plan and that is plan A.