Just back from a few days kiln building with my old friend Marcus O’Mahony in Lismore, Waterford. This new incarnation of the Glencairn noborigama promises to offer great firings and exciting times into the future. I always enjoy my visits to Glencairn in the beautiful Blackwater valley and have been involved in most of the firings there.
A Noborigama kiln has a large arched ‘anagama’ chamber with an internal firebox. The flames from this chamber exit through flues in to a second chamber which also has its own firebox or hearth onto which the timber logs are dropped.
Such a firing requires long steady stoking through several nights and involves a team and shift work. As well as the drama of the firing and the sharp sense of anticipation of the opening an anagama firing is an opportunity for likeminded potters to get together in a social setting. For a wonderful evocation of such firings l would recommend the chapter ‘Effleurage’ from Barry Lopez’ book ‘About This Life’ .