[Clayart] wood kilns
vpitelka at dtccom.net
Wed Jan 4 18:07:01 EST 2017
Hi Mel -
Something I have always taught my students is that the dimensions of wood kilns do not change in proportion the way they do with a gas kiln. If you build a very small wood kiln, you still need a large firebox in order to develop and maintain a good coalbed, and you still need a tall chimney to develop adequate draft. Very small wood kilns are a project of questionable worth, considering the cost and labor for the return. At the Craft Center we have a 250 cubic foot anagama-groundhog hybrid we call the hoggama, and we have a 40-cubic-foot crossdraft that Bryce Brisco built about five years ago. The crossdraft gets fired twenty times to every time the hoggama gets fired, because the latter is just such a huge effort. For most people, 40 cubic feet would still be a pretty big kiln, and I'd love to have a 20 cubic foot crossdraft wood kiln. You say you get good results from a 14 cubic foot flat-top, and I think that is about the lower limit of practical size for a wood kiln.
Woodfiring involves a steep learning curve, and for novices, a small wood kiln allows a lot of experimentation from one firing to the next. That's the best way to learn the process.
Appalachian Center for Craft
Tennessee Tech University
vpitelka at dtccom.net
From: Clayart [mailto:clayart-bounces at lists.clayartworld.com] On Behalf Of mel jacobson
Sent: Wednesday, January 4, 2017 4:45 PM
To: clay <" clayart"@lists.clayartworld.com>
Subject: [Clayart] wood kilns
this is a general statement, idea.
wood firing is always a lot of work.
it takes planning and knowledge and fuel is always an issue.
you need a great deal of it, and it has to be dry.
if you are buying it, it is very expensive per load.
also, hand splitting is a big chore unless you have a good mechanical splitter. it is still a lot of work.
so, saying that.
all of the above is true no matter the size of the kiln.
so, a great deal of work and planning and only firing a few pots seems futile to me.
a 14 cu foot flat top will give you gobs of great pots over many years. just my take.
but, there are hundreds of potters that are really glad they have a gas kiln. and, some of them have great wood fired kilns too. big ones.
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