I’ve been waiting for the weather to change, for the endless dry to give in and let come rain through. But at the same time I needed pots fired, so it got to mid March and although the promised rains never eventuated I was committed to the firing. The wood kiln is allowed to fire, even during a fire ban as it’s not considered an open fire. But that doesn’t stop people calling the Fire Brigade to report the smoke, which the Fire Brigade will investigate. If they repeatedly get called out for my smoke they can fine me, essentially for creating a public nuisance that could distract from a genuine emergency.

So I had to be careful during the middle of the firing, which produces the most smoke usually as I go for a solid reducing atmosphere and have aggressive passive dampers open. This firing I had my secret weapon – mostly dry gum, it burns well, but hardly any smoke and in combination with pine can really do the trick for the reduction I need.

The results were excellent and full of rich colour, with the added bonus of particularly good pots from the firebox and first throat step. See the pottery page for images. If you were wondering, the Fire Brigade never did show up

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