Friday, May 6, 2011

9. Remove Sand & Initial Fire

Ready to Fire
Another major milestone was removing the sand and lighting the first fire.

The sand came out easily. It was a bit damp, or maybe just felt pretty cold. Inside the newspaper lining was not completely dry, but not wet either - it was cold to the touch, like the sand. Some of the newspaper came away, but most of it stuck to the clay, so I left it for the flames to address.
Sand Removed

I built a small fire just inside the doorway. When attempted further in, it did not want to stay lit. It is certainly difficult to keep a small fire alight.

The fire burnt for about 2 1/2 hours. The top and sides became warm to the touch, and too warm to touch just above the doorway. The back was only just warm. Due to the thickness there I put bricks in the doorway when I stopped feeding the fire, to reflect the head from the coals back to the back wall. About 20 minutes later the back wall was quite warm.
Fire Underway

I am not sure whether the clay needs to be left any longer, but I am leaving it a week out of caution, and while I wait for delivery of my 9-inch pizza trays (ordered on eBay).

...Geoff the Pyro

Bricks to Reflect Heat to Back Wall

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