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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thinking about kilns

I've been reading a few books on kiln building lately, trying to figure out something that will work at home without having a full-blown kiln yard in the backyard. Ideally portable, easy to set up, (fairly) easy to fire. Since I tend to make lowfire work, looking at smaller more primitive alternative kilns has given me a few ideas. Mixing that in with modern technology, materials, and know-how should lead me to come up with something. I'm leaning toward a ceramic fiber cylinder (or possibly cube), fired with a propane gas burner or two. Ideally, I'd like it to be able to do a low bisque, and be capable of tinfoil sagger, raku, or horsehair firings. It might end up being a single base with different interchangeable chambers, I don't know. I'm just getting to the point of actually trying to run the numbers and calculations on heat output and retention.

Coincidentally, I ran across this video of an archeological team that found an old kiln site in France and decided to try firing it. The audio is in French, but it's just interesting to watch and follow along as they rebuild the walls and fire it.
The Google translated link so you can read the text is here.