Monday, August 21, 2006

Day 10, part 2. Objective: Room temperature to 300C

Hour zero. This is the start of the charcoal fire. I read up about firing clay, and the first crucial stage is around 80°C-100°C to dry out the clay. I decided we would need to stay at that temperature for several hours.

This is the fire three hours later. I've built it up a little. The internal temperature was still about 100°c at this stage. Over the first four or five hours we had a lot of problems with rain. There was a lot of standing round outside in the rain hoping the umbrella didn't melt.

At six hours we started to build the fire up. You can see that there were a few hairline cracks forming in the clay. The base was really quite cracked up, but the cracks filled with ashes.

The higher temperature at six hours makes a big difference to the jaggery. It has hardened and started to peel off the clay. I think it has left a thin layer of sugar - the seasoning.

And at about eight hours the fire is substantially bigger...

And shortly after that we reach the maximum of my oven thermometer.


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