In response from a question from Mike Kline, best reasonable guess is winter quarter 1982. That seems to fit everything. I started art seriously in summer '80, and by the time I got through basics and some intros, that would be about right.
We used the trench we had dug as the flue, marked down to where the firebox arch would be and just cut the side wall shape with shovels. Leveled back from box, leaving steps as we went. We had all kinds of old fire brick, so used them for wall base, laying them radially to catch inner brick and topcoat. I used pairs of bats for arch forms, and I remember the firebox arch had a 24" span because that was as big a bat we had.
Now, when we moved to A&A, Dr. Darrow had done a real good job getting materials. I mean we had pallets and pallets, hard, soft, shapes, mortar, just a mountain of stuff. At this point, Steve Frazier (grad) had gotten involved, and we would drive over and just pack a truck full of brick boxes. The good stuff, the old two part APGreen boxes of softbrick you don't see anymore. And we just laid to it, no forms just eyeballing, shaping, mudding and laying, and propping them up with sticks. Two pair of side stoke holes, arches both ends, good flue with chimney, we did a good job, it looked good and it was built right. Ready for the clay topcoat.
If you remember from the start, Dr. Darrow thought it was a trench kiln, and we had not told him any different. He finally got curious about what we were up to and paid us a visit. When he walked out the back door he got an amazing look on his face, all seven emotions in order, shock, disbelief, anger, wonder, and acceptance, all in about ten seconds. But at the end of it all, he told us we had done a good job, and we had.
Next: "Fire In The Hole"
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