[Clayart] jt kiln

sumi sumi at herwheel.com
Mon Oct 12 22:53:38 EDT 2020


So if the burners are in front and back, is the door on one side? No, I 
guess not, because the flue is between the front burners, right? The 
door must be above the front burners?

I figured JT had passed away by now, since Google told me he developed 
this design in the 1950s! Perhaps one day I'll have to travel to Ann 
Arbor to see these things.

> My kiln is fired with forced air burners that I built with a 2" threaded pipe, a Sticktite nozzle on one end, a squirrel cage blower on the other. Gas is introduced through a street el that was welded into the barrel of the pipe. This was JT's design and he built my burners for my first gas kiln. the kiln has no chimney, no bag walls. I leave 7" between the side walls and the shelf. There are two burners in the front bottom. Two mid high in the back. When firing three brick are left open at the bottom of the door to act as a "flue". there are many variations on this kiln. JT used a single powerful  blower at the back. That fed into a mixer he built at the back to mix the gas coming in and the air. I wanted the control at each burner so that if the top was too hot I could cut back the middle burners. JT built a kiln with this design that was as big as a one car garage. It took three days to reach temperature. Had I think, twelve burners. One day the UPS guy came by and said, "hey JT. I hear you're building a big kiln. Where is it?" "you're standing in it."  At that time JT was doing bath tubs and huge planters and needed a really big kiln to fire them in. Sadly, JT started going blind about 15 years ago and abandon his studio. The building is crumbling, the ceiling is falling in and all of that history is lost. That studio was right in downtown Ann Arbor at the back of another building. It is because of JT that the city is so willing to allow potters to have kilns in their backyards or as in my case, in a building. If you called the building department about building a kiln they sent you to JT, "he knows more than we do".
> Kathi
> http://www.lesueurclaywork.com
> On Oct 12, 2020, at 11:48 AM, sumi wrote:
>>   mel
>> Thanks. But you fire in a kiln with forced air burners, too, right? Is forced air different from compressed air burners? Is it just a lot easier to fine tune the firing process in a standard downdraft kiln?
>> Sumi
>>> kathy will give details, but i am very understanding about jt and kilns.
>>> his ideas were so "out there" that common folks would not touch them.
>>> it is all about compressed air burners...getting oxygen into the flame so
>>> that the kiln did not spit out carbon monoxide. all one has to do his have the
>>> windows and door open.  lots of O2 in the room.
>>> jt was a flawed, sort of out there guy. he frightened people and he liked
>>> young woman far too much. but, i sure loved his brain and so did nils.
>>> most of how i fire with speed, blue flame and no smoke is a result of
>>> understanding him. i got to sit down with him only one time and interview
>>> him for an article for cm.  he did not want to do it. he thought people would
>>> laugh at him and bring up "issues" he had.  i assured him i was there to
>>> talk pots, kilns and clay. (he also knew i was pals of both
>>> nils lou and dale eldred the sculptor, that calmed him down. ( he hated stupid))
>>>   i still have the tape.  he was a wonderful clay guy.
>>> a giant.  but, flawed socially.
>>> mel
>>> website: www.melpots.com
>>> www.melpots.com/CLAYART.HTML

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