Ok, so remember back when I was trying to decide whether to go to Arrowmont or to a woodfire in Alsea, and I chose the woodfire? I just got back from the firing weekend. I absolutely made the right choice, it was awesome!
First, and most importantly, the people were really cool. Everyone was super welcoming and by the end of the first day I felt like I’d known them all for…well, for more than a day.
Second, the food was fantastic. I made a quinoa/tabouli salad–used the Moosewood tabouli recipe but subbed quinoa for Bulgar. Came out really good. But the highlights of the weekend were…it’s hard to say because all the meals were great…the curry with prawns and sweet potatoes, the chili verde, and the ribs (I don’t usually like ribs, but they were really good!). Oh, and the pumpkin-pie-squares with pecans on top. I’m getting hungry just thinking about all the great food!
Third, the location was wonderful. Jay’s property is southwest of Corvallis, past Mary’s Peak. Hiked up the hill one day and got some wonderful views of the coast range. Plus the weather went from rain on Thursday and Friday to balmy sunny days on the weekend. Not too warm, but cloudless.
Of course it wasn’t all fun and games, there was a lot of work too. When I first arrived, I helped Sandy clean out the kiln. It had to be vacuumed out, and all the stuck-on wads chipped off. Throughout the weekend we were constantly hauling and splitting wood too (with a fancy power-splitter!). But everyone chipped in so the work was not too grueling. Spending a few days working hard felt good, since I usually spend my days at a computer.
The hardest part is now–waiting until Friday to unload and see how everything comes out. It takes all week for the kiln to cool enough to unload, and the waiting is torture. But I’ve seen work from previous firings and I have no doubt that I’ll get some lovely pieces out of this one.
See more pictures from the firing here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76363470@N00/tags/diggermountain/