Wood-fired kilns produce a distinct type of pottery. The fire, ash and temperature variations inside the kiln produce beautiful surfaces on both glazed and unglazed pots.
Our Anagama kiln is approximately 450 cubic feet (13 cubic metres), encompassing an 8 metre long and 3- metre wide brick arch, with a 7 metre tall chimney. We produce roughly 6,000 hand-turned pieces per year in biannual firings, with temperatures up to 2500 degrees Fahrenheit (1370° C) using hardwoods such as ash, oak, hickory and cherry.
It takes several months of throwing to fill the kiln and 14 full days to load. A typical firing lasts four to five days, with 30 people working over the course of eight shifts, in order to provide constant attention to the stoking of the flame with roughly 4 cords (18 cubic metres) of wood consumed. At the end of each firing, we have a "kiln opening" to which the public is invited to see and purchase the new work.
Design & Construction
My stepfather David and I began building the Kiln in early Fall of 2004. It first involved building a pole barn roof to shelter the kiln. Once the roof was up, excavation and the pouring of a footer and laying a block foundation followed. Once the brick walls were laid we then had to lay out the curve of the kiln's brick arch. This design was then converted to an 8' long form. With the form in place, we then started laying the brick arch, one section at a time. With the third section completed, we had an arch that was 24' long, leaving 4' of wall to build the brick chimney.