[Clayart] wood kilns

Robert Harris robertgharris at gmail.com
Thu Jan 5 01:10:43 EST 2017


I've fired a Gas/wood hybrid crossdraft that was probably between 20 and 40
Cu.ft. Pretty small.

Fire it overnight on gas to about 1000F and then on up to Cone 10 takes
about 10 hours.

Obviously this one is more about the flashing and flame marks than any real
ash build up, but I liked the results. If that's the sort of "wood" you're
going for, it seems to me to be a good compromise since the first 1000F is
just plain hard work with not much benefit in a wood-only kiln.



On Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 4:07 PM, Vince Pitelka <vpitelka at dtccom.net> wrote:

> 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.
> - Vince
>
> Vince Pitelka
> Appalachian Center for Craft
> Tennessee Tech University
> vpitelka at dtccom.net
> https://sites.tntech.edu/wpitelka/
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> 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.
> mel
>
>
>
>
>


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