This firing is best described as a bowl firing; full of pasta, noodle, batter, tea and mixing bowls, with beakers, mugs and tea caddies making up the remainder. Loading and firing have fallen into a real rhythm now, with most of the kinks in the process ironed out. I do as much preparation over the month before firing as I can, like grinding grog or washing shelves so that when loading day arrives I know that all the prep is done and everything I need is to hand. Firing is a small team effort, with as much thought going into what and when to eat as putting wood in the kiln. We follow a schedule and watch how the kiln responds, we adjust to the different woods or weather and watch the cones from 5pm onwards. This predictability helps develop the confidence in experimenting with new glazes and slips, in this firing was a new flashing slip, a new shino glaze, clay tests from a supplier, re-fires and new ways of applying the porcelain hakeme slip. So when I unloaded the kiln I was most keen to see how all these pieces came out as they tell me where next interesting territory lies.

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