Monday, July 1, 2013

Small Japanese Kiln, The Sequel

In February of 2011, I wrote a blog post about a kind of small Japanese-style kiln built and fired by 柯有政, Ko Yu-Cheng (a.k.a Ah-Pao) at WuXing Creative Design Studio in Taiwan.  Fast forward to a couple weeks ago . . . I received and inquiry via e-mail from one of my readers asking for more details about this kind of kiln.  It was my hope that sometime during my stay in Taiwan, I'd be able to have some hands-on experience with building one of these little gems.  Alas, life got in the way including lots of other ceramics projects, so this little fire monster's realization for me is perpetually TBD.  HOWEVER,  prompted by this curious fellow ceramist, I got some more details today about the kiln's construction and where interested parties can do even more research!

1) Clay.  The kiln pictured at left is held together by wire, because this kiln was made from an unsatisfactory clay body that couldn't withstand the heating and cooling of the kiln.  Ah-Pao did some research on the clay body settling on a body made with fireclay, at 60% clay, 20% coarse grog, 20% fine grog(pictured right). The kiln is cured(fired) at 800 degrees Celsius prior to its first use as an actual kiln.    2) Wall thickness: walls of the kiln are 3-4 cm in width when constructed (wet clay).  3) The book: ISBN 4-575-29122-6 (pictured below) has a thorough, step-by-step explanation about how to build this kind of kiln and several other designs of small kilns including a baby noborigama-style kiln!  (Sorry, it's all in Japanese.)