Sunday, February 20, 2011

Small Japanese-style Kiln (小日本窯)

I've been making some small things in the studio, but a few weeks ago, I learned about firing a small kiln; this is a REALLY small kiln.  Its a japanese-style wood-firing kiln.  Who knew kilns could be so cute! We can fit 1-3 pots in the firing chamber, and it takes about 6 hours to reach temperature (around 1260C).

Pots inside being fired

The color of the pots is a little on the gray side because of the quick-cooling.  The kilns are made by Ah-Pao (potter and partner at WuXing Design), and are a beautiful and finely crafted piece work of art themselves.  You can see three different designs here.

Three different designs

They are made of a high-temperature sculpture body and require wire fasteners around the outside because the drastic temperature change of the quick firings causes the clay to crack over time.  The wires are similar to the welded frame of any brick kiln.  A blower is set up about 6-8 inches from the stoking chamber to create draft since the kiln doesn't have a flue.  Small pieces of wood are put in the front chamber every few minutes just like any wood-firing kiln requires.  The blower is switched on and off during the firing to control the temperature climb.



This style kiln is really fun to fire, and the physics are uber simple.  My 2011 Summer project:  Make a little kiln and fire some pots in it!   

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