148 Jerry Brown’s father used a kick wheel for most of his career. The traditional Southern term for forming pottery on a wheel is “turning. This same process is called “throwing” by studio-trained potters.
149 The Rye kiln is a good example of a semi-subterranean “ground-hog “ kiln. Later Southern kilns kept the rectangular plan of the groundhog kiln but were not dug into the ground. Jerry Brown’s kiln is entirely above ground with earth packed against the sides.
150 The mule powers a vertical shaft on which are a series of horizontal metal blades that slice through the clay. This process is known as “grinding clay.”
151 The process of weighing, wedging and forming the clay is called “making balls.”
152 Traditionally potters made larger pots, approximately four gallons and up, using the two piece method.
153 By “ceramics”, Jerry is referring to slip-molded hobby ware.
154 Jerry is referring to his son Jeff Brown, born in a previous marriage. He has trained both Jeff Brown and stepson Jeff Wilburn in pottery making.
155 Jerry does this by sticking a piece of wood into a hole at the base of the chimney. The wood immediately catches fire. From that flame he can see a reflection on the test piece, which means the glaze has melted and is shiny. This means Jerry can stop adding wood and will stop up the kiln and allow it to cool very slowly.
156 All openings to the kiln have been blocked with sheets of tin, bricks and mud to allow the pottery to cool slowly over several days. If it cools too fast, it will crack.