You may be asking: what a what is an anagama? It has quite a fun ring to it, An- a- Ga- ma.
An anagama kiln is a type of high fire wood kiln that is built to make the heat and the ash move towards the back, through all of the ceramic pieces and up the chimney. The variety of temperatures and movement of ash around the kiln causes a lot of variation in the glazes and coloring.
Clemson University has one of the few anagama kilns in the South East U.S. and we fire it once every spring. We fired it last weekend for three days straight, stoking it with wood every few minutes to get the kiln up to temperature ( around 2300 degrees). It was HOT! and then we let the kiln cool for a week.
Yesterday was the equivalence of Christmas in the ceramics world: It was Kiln Unloading Day! I had forgotten how much stuff we had managed to fit into the kiln. All of the work looked beautiful! I can't wait for next years firing!