The Kiln is a vital part of a ceramic artists creative process, and when properly built should last for hundreds of firings. All too often kilns are poorly designed, too large, too small, inadequately insulated, inefficient, and fail prematurely due to improper support and/or inferior bricks. I’ve built many kilns, repaired even more, and have designed 3 different types of kilns I feel are the best choices for ceramic artists utilizing atmospheric firing techniques. Furthermore, I have each of these kilns at my studio for clients to participate in a workshop firing. This enables the artist to take each kiln for a “test drive” prior to making a decision as to which they would like to build.
3 Unique Kiln Designs
The catenary arch cross draft wood/soda kiln is the “go to” design for most everyone. The right size for an individual body of work, or a small group firing with a “stackable” space of 20 cu ft. The catenary arch is the strongest, longest lasting arch, easy to build, load, and fire, this truly is the most versatile kiln.
The tube kiln emulates effects from “anagama” style kilns, yet is much easier to build, load, and fire. Appropriately sized with 60 cu/ft of “stackable” space, this kiln is perfect for a small group, can be fired quickly, or stoke it a bit longer for some heavy ash buildup, and dramatic flame path markings.
The anagama is my personal favorite, and a truly special style of wood burning kiln. Tapered kilns can provide the most dramatic of wood fired “effects”, heat incredibly evenly, produce the most melted ash from the wood burned, and are the most challenging to build, load, and fire. My “afterburner” chamber designed into the rear of the anagama can eliminate most, if not all of the smoke from the chimney depending on the type of wood being used, and how the kiln is fired. You can view firing videos of the “first version” of the “Afterburner Anagama” on the process page contained on this website.
Kiln Building, Design, and Consulting
I’ve been firing wood burning kilns of all shapes and sizes for over 20 years across the globe. Each kiln has taught me things that I’ve incorporated into every successive firing and kiln build. My specialty is producing “slow flame” kilns that heat evenly, and smoke very little to not at all. I’ve spent countless hours designing all components, specifically the exit flues, to produce kilns that require less fuel to heat, yield more ash from less wood, require less physical work, and are more responsive to adjustments that more “traditional” kiln designs. If your kiln is not performing as it should, contact me for a full “assessment”. I’ll calculate airflow, fuel usage, heat saturation, and firing schedule to help you adjust your air flow so your kiln heats more efficiently, and evenly. The most common package is $250/4hrs, and can be purchased in the “Shop” or by clicking here.
I can provide plans for your kiln build, or you can hire me to come build your kiln for you. The timeline has many variables, mainly how well you prepare the build site with materials at hand. The size of your work crew also plays a large role with construction timeline. Small kilns can be built in 5 days, while larger kilns can take up to 3 weeks to complete. I make myself available to travel for 2 kiln builds per year in North America.