Seth fires in a wood kiln (one of the many reasons I wanted to come study with him for a little while). A wood kiln is a long firing. The kiln has to be heated slowly and reach the high temperatures with wood being thrown in at various intervals.
Seth's wood kiln is a few years old and has had one "jacket" put on in its life time. A jacket is another coating of wire and cement for the outside of the kiln. He wanted one more put on (making a total of two jackets on top of the original kiln), to strengthen the kiln and take care of any cracks that have appeared as the it has settled in the firings and weather.
As our bisque firing date was fast approaching, we had to quickly cut horrible thick wire, mix load after load of cement and layer the kiln. Another Brit in the area, Helen, came to help. She is a fairly new student of pottery and eager to know more. Seth and I were grateful for the help to say the least. It was hard work.
First came the wire cover which required shaping the wire, cutting it, and twist tying it together. Then we carted numerous wheel barrow loads of sand from the top of the hill, mixed in cement and calcium (for plasticity) and stuccoed the kiln over the wire. It was especially hard to get the cement to adhere around the doorway and other curves.
With a fresh jacket on, the kiln stands proudly, ready to be fired and the owner looks at it with a new appreciation. We definitely earned our siestas over those three days!