[Clayart] Kiln spacing and heat dams

David Woof woofpots at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 17 18:49:30 UTC 2022

Folks it seems that 1/4 to 1/8 spacing seems to be the preferred "rule" for loading ware into a kiln.
 Though "rules" do serve as a standardized protection, "rules" also become handcuffs when one encounters special needs or conditions.
Here is where we get the Whys and How Comes:  "why did my beautiful always reliable brown glaze come out with ugly pink flashings?" Or "why did my pots in the middle of the setting come out looking different than the same glazed ware near the setting perimeter? And why do these similar pots from the interior setting have the inside glaze all bubbly or with pinholes?
 One could reason that perhaps knowing the interactions and character of the glaze constituents may have required those pots to need more breathing room.
Or that certain densely packed and heavier pots in the interior of the setting needed space for the perimeter heat source to freely penetrate to the middle of the setting...........the questions could go on....and so could suppositions and answers.
My point: don't lock one's self in and chain self to "one rule fits all,"

And be working at a continuing education regarding the Ceramic materials we use.   Study, think, and learn why those pots were "cursed" with ugly pink splotches or tinges.  Why the interior of the pot's glaze didn't mature as the outside did.  Many of us know the answers.   How to apply knowledge equates with practical wisdom across disciplines.

Mel fires fast, so he needs a more open spaced setting for more rapid even heat distribution through out the setting.

David Hendley as usual gave a very lucid explanation and defense for his time proven wood firing methods.
(See below)

David Woof............................................................................................................................................
My Muse sez that I should mind my business, and get off Clayart and mind Her's. (Ha)
Sometimes the little Raven-Haired Vixen can be really high maintenance!!!...........Now she's out there messing up my studio!  See what I mean!!!  ***************************************************************************************************
From: Clayart <clayart-bounces at lists.clayartworld.com> on behalf of David Hendley <farmpots at eastex.net>
Sent: Sunday, November 13, 2022 10:04 AM
To: clayart at lists.clayartworld.com <clayart at lists.clayartworld.com>
Subject: Re: [Clayart] Kiln spacing and heat dams

On 11/10/2022 5:24 PM, Robert L. Johnson wrote:
> I have seen Mel proclaim, many times, that pots should be an inch apart in
> the kiln. Does that apply vertically, too? That is should the next shelf be
> an inch above the tallest pot below it?
My take:
I think 'an inch apart' is too rigid and, generally, too generous. I aim
for more like
a half-inch between pots.
And this is in a wood-fired kiln, which does require even more room for
It's also OK to occasionally stack things very close together, as long
as there
is plenty of space on the shelf in general.

As for space between the pots and the next shelf - it depends. If I have
a shelf
full of bowls, I leave only a small space above the bowls because there is
so much empty space around the bottoms of the bowls. A shelf full of
mugs however is a pretty dense shelf, so I will leave a good inch above
Then there is the case of jars with knobs on the lids. I space these so
there is
almost no space between the knobs and the next shelf because there is
lots of
space above the jars - the knobs are just small protrusions.

David Hendley
david at farmpots.com
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