We began the weekend with serious packing of pots in the 3rd Chamber (Back Shelf) on Saturday. Ah Weng who has been a great help, had to rush home to see his son who was having a high fever. Tuan Yong and Tok took over to stack the kiln shelves.
The back-breaking work continued to the 4th Chamber. The front of the kiln is barely over 1meter high and 2 meters wide. Hence, we have to haunch most of the time and it doesn’t help if you are tall. Working in such an enclosed space can be quite claustrophobic.
Putting up the kiln shelves is hard work – the kiln shelves are heavy and have to be stacked carefully. The sandy floor has to be leveled first before building up the shelves. Lumps of wet clay is used to “cement” the kiln supports onto the kiln shelves. It is important that the kiln shelves are properly stacked and stable to hold the pots so that they will not collapse during the firing. Yulianti and the rest of us did our part to carry pots into the kiln and also made more waddings for the shelves and pots.
As if carrying the heavy kiln bats was not strenuous enough, Tok went to do some wood-chopping. We decided that during the week, we would cut the Balau wood in a more “back-friendly” manner – with an electric saw.
Elfie lent a hand in packing the 4th Chamber.
The packing can be quite tedious as the clay pieces have to be carefully arranged at different heights so that there is a smooth and controlled flow of the heat and ash through the spaces. The clay pieces were also quite fragile as most of them were not bisque fired. Hence, they had to be handled with care.
The interesting spires in the 4th chamber are Elfie’s sculpture pieces that he created for his upcoming exhibition. We are all hoping that he will have something unique to show in December.
The back shelf in the 4th Chamber was reserved for the two Collaboration sculptures. Thanks to Mr Tan, Yulianti, Elfie and Tuan Yong, the sculptures were placed in the kiln without any mishaps. Phew!
Posted by CLim