Rebuilding the kiln
We fired the kiln for nine years and for a pretty funky design, we got some beautiful pieces out of it, which is amazing as we had no idea what we were doing! It was a slow learning curve, but over time we figured out what worked and what didn’t. We didn’t have a shed for the kiln when we built it, so we had to fabricate a 2×4 structure to hold tarps above the kiln to protect us from weather during firings. This of course was a disaster in slow motion, so in 2004 we built a steel structure above the kiln and did a major rebuild in 2005.
Once the steel shed was built, we tore down the secret chamber, salt chamber and chimney. We then rebuilt the doorway and extended the anagama, adding a four foot tunnel at the back end. We built a new large catenary for soda, a third smaller chamber for residual and the new chimney. The resulting kiln is a beauty, and offers a wide variety of surfaces between the three chambers.
The community that has come together over time to build and fire the kiln is one of the great gifts of my career. Students, friends, and fellow potters have all put thousands of hours of labor into both the building and firing of the kiln over the years. I have tremendous sense of gratitude for all who have participated in the past and for those who will in the future.