Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Mighty Kiln

The kiln
It seems like a boring topic, but
it is where pots are born. I will never forget the first pot I made and took hot of the kiln still warm, it was like holding a baby, something warm and alive! After that I tried to make sure my students had that opportunity also. There are many types of kilns, gas fired, electric and wood fired. There are even other varieties in other cultures like dung heated kilns. The shape varies as well from square to round to octagonal, to arched, to an open fire with pots layer on the coals. They can reach very high temperatures depending on the glaze used or the cone melt. A melting ceramic cone used to be how the heat turn off was gauged. It would melt and then trigger a mechanism in the kiln to shut down. Now in the digital age that is not necessary, but the name continues...a cone 5 or 6 firing and so on. You can make your own kilns, there are books a plenty. Especially for raku, all you need is an old metal trash can, some fire brick, propane canister, and a bit of are ready to go.

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