Illustrated is a previously fired mentori vessel by Kohyama Yasuhisa waiting for another cycle in the fire. For this kiln, way back in 1993, about 20% were pots to be refired, which is a common practice in Shigaraki and Iga and has been for centuries. The pots are ferried back and forth from studio and storage to staging tables, just outside of the enclosure housing his Iori-gama kiln, the precursor to loading. The tedious and exacting art of loading is carried out with skill and efficiency to maximize the finite space and to help insure a good firing. It's all in the preparation and the knowledge of the process, which determines the outcome, together with a pinch of luck. If you look past Kohyama's central pot, to the right, you can see a couple of my chawan getting ready to be loaded as well. Despite my current situation in regards to firing, there is little to compare to wood firing an anagama that I know of.