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Ground Breaking

Reuse, recycle, reduce. We hear these ideas all the time and I tend to think they are good ones. It comes in especially great when someone gives me an old kiln.  That is exactly what happened when the electric kiln that we used for cone 6 glaze firing gave up the ghost at Callanwolde. It’s a good size kiln, much bigger than my electric kiln but I’m not interested in rewiring this one. You may remember I did that with my electric kiln when I installed the kiln sitter (you can read about that here) which I got from another free kiln.

My plan for this kiln is to make it a reduction kiln since that is the look I like best for my pots. I am even considering adding a stoke hole so I can feed some small piece of wood into the kiln for some ash and wood effects.

Before I can start converting it into a gas kiln I need to build a kiln shed. My current kiln room is fine for the electric kiln but it’s too crowded to add flame to the mix. I’m designing a simple lean-to type shed that will have a m…


Kibuta or ki-buta is a process that some people use when firing a wood kiln.  It seems to be a great way to build up an ash bed quickly, it's useful for vibrating the kiln (creating fluctuations that add drama to the pots), and it's exciting.  So of course it was something I wanted to do.  What you do is stuff the front door stoke hole in the kiln with pieces of wood.  You want the opening to be filled pretty tightly with wood, this keeps air flow to a minimum. The wood will be burning in the back of this wooden door as your building it. 

Needless to say you have to work pretty quickly, a team of people helps too. 

As the wood burns in the back you poke it with a stick from the front.  Pretty soon all the wood gets pushed into the hole which causes a nice build up all at once and changes the airflow in the kiln for a short time.  

Of course your place the metal door promptly or build another Kibuta.


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