Saturday, December 28, 2013

Snow Kiln

Snow, snow and more snow. In fact it is still snowing as I write. The past few days I have been spending about an hour each day pulling snow off roofs. Then shoveling it away. Another few inches and it will be waist deep on me. This is about twice what we usually get in a Winter. This is supposed to be the rain-shadow of the Coast Range. Now my poor kiln is also covered in the stuff. Only good part is that the water content is pretty low. Plus the fact that it would be -46 C like it is a bit to the North of us and beyond this storm track.
I was asked about the measurements of this kiln. Inside the chamber is 64 inches by 28 wide and 24 ish high. 9 courses high on the inside. Because it is made of used (very used) hardbrick there is mortar between the courses and that adds to the height. It is 9 inches thick. The Bourry Box has hobs. On top I use kiln shelves, a layer of soft brick then several layers of fiber blanket. The plans for this kiln were in Laid Back Wood-firing by Steve Harrison. I would recommend both the book and the kiln to anyone wanting to build a simple yet easy to fire kiln.Steve is very accessible and helpful. I have seen pots he fired for 16 hours in one of these kilns that are ringers for 4 day anagama fired work. Tons of ash and great flashing. I fire both 'naked' and glazed work and it works well for both.
It was so cold after my last firing that I neglected the usual clean up, thought it could wait until the Spring. As my studio is closed up until March it won't be until at least May before we fire again.
In the planning process for building two new kilns. One will be a gas conversion of an ancient Duncan electric and the other a 14.5 cu. ft.Flat Top. One will be updraft and the other crossdraft fired with propane. Too many days with the fire hazard up in the high and extreme range for wood firing so this will give me some options. Also will be able to do more frequent testing.
Meanwhile it is back to tend the wood stove and watch the snow come down.

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