Wood Kiln Firing

10/7/2011 - 10/11/2011

Rob Boryk and CJ Niehaus, Twisted Terra artists, participate in a wood kiln firing.

On Thursday, the 50 plus cubic foot wood fired kiln was stacked with bisque fired pieces.

As shelves were layered ash was sprinkled on each piece. The ash helps create the special reactive effects for which wood firings are known. Wadding (saw dust and clay) was placed under the pots and between kiln furniture to keep the pottery from glazing together.

Once the kiln was stacked the door was bricked up and plastered up with a clay and sand mortar to retain the heat.

The kiln was stated with tinder at midnight on Thursday. The first 6 hour shift of potters slowly raised the heat in the kiln to 900 degrees. Subsequent 6 hour shifts raised the temperature to 2300 degrees within 24 hours. Performing wood firings is a labor intensive process with frequent stoking of the kiln for over a day. As such, fewer potters experience this unique kiln method. The final steps of the firing was another load of clean wood and closing the dampers to create a reduction atmosphere.

All the potters gathered to see the results of their labors.

Look on our online store for regular appearances of wood fired pottery.



The Wood Kilns World Map is courtesy of Simon Levin.