Anxiety mounts. Steamy smoke escapes. Bits of the clamp collapse slowly into the interior. Loud bangs are heard.
Waiting for any firing to finish is tantalising. This is worse.
So there they are. A few are completely undamaged; a few more have chips or hairline cracks; and a few are just basically bust. Some of the clays have worked beautifully – the pink bowl in particular feels lovely in the hand, and the smoky oxidation/reduction markings are soft and cloudy.
My clothes have been kippered and there is a huge hole in the vegetable garden – a dull job tomorrow, recovering bits of charcoal and unburnt wood ready for next time.
Oh dear – I’m already talking about next time. Better start planning a trip to the beach.