Wood firing is a long and hands on method of kiln firing requiring continual stoking over many hours. Depending on the type of kiln, clay and the nature of the ware the firing can be as short as 10 hours or as long as 10 days. The longer firings tend to be high temperature (1280º -1320ºC) often to develop heavy deposits of ash on the pots. The ash melts at these temperatures to form part of the glazing.
I have a small fast firing phoenix-type kiln which I built in 2013. I fire this on my own to 1280ºC in about 18 hours. Sometimes I can extend the firing depending on available help and the weather. We are exposed to the prevailing south west winds so weather is an important consideration in the progress of the firing. I use locally grown timber, mostly pine, and garden prunings. I am not aiming for heavy ash deposits but for flame markings and a fluttering of speckles to dirty up the surfaces and give the work a physical connection to the place of its making.
The work produced from the wood kiln is stoneware, often glazed and will usually function to contain water. Due the the stretching techniques used to obtain the textures some pieces will be porous even when fired to these high temperatures.