The kiln was originally built in 1995 and 1996 with the help of my students from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. We did this as a kiln building class, and over the course of a year, we took a mountain of used firebrick and built a two chamber kiln, with a small ‘secret chamber’ between the two.
The first chamber was the anagama, the design based on the hull of an overturned whaling boat. The anagama chamber fed into the small ‘secret chamber’, which was a collection area for flue gases before they entered into the second chamber. This was used primarily for firing tea bowls. The second chamber was a big catenary arch kiln which we primarily used for salt firing. We did the inaugural firing in October of 1996.