Sunday, April 05, 2009

A New Raku Kiln

I know. I've been bad, naughty, and have not posted anything for two months. I have been putting a lot of time and effort into the art blog that I write for work called Coulee Region Art. This is a pretty cool blog site, although it is written for people in this immediate area. Each week I spotlight a local artist with a brief biography, post a photo of their work in a permanent slide show and also post a permanent link to their website if they have one. I also post things on upcoming events such as workshops and exhibits. I even put a slideshow of my first Anagama wood firing experience with potter and educator Tony Ferguson. Before I drift too far from intended topic, A New Raku Kiln.........

Yes, I'm building a new propane fired raku kiln. Winter has been dragging on too long and I haven't spent any time inthe studio making anything. The weather was about 50 degrees F yesterday. A good day to work. Anyway, last Spring our second 100 year flood in two years took out both my raku kilns. I actually found one tangled up in some tree branches but "Alas, poor kiln was dead." Too much mud and water ruined the fiber-lined interior. This kiln was the one that was fired from the bottom and sat atop a modified turkey cooker. I never did see any advantage using the "updraft" kiln and it was just another piece of equipment to haul around so I went with the standard garbage can kiln with the hole in the side and a hole in the top.

To save money I bought 50 square feet of 1 inch 8lb. density kaowool fiber for just over 100 dollars on e-bay. I had a pretty new 31-gallon metal garbage can in the basement and I am going to use a lid from the very first kiln that I made. I didn't get too far yesterday. I had to clean the inside of the can with a wire brush, cut the side hole, and layered two pieces of the fibre into the bottom of the can. I used two layers on the bottom because the can is 26 inches tall and by using two pieces I can use just one piece of 24-inch wide fiber to finish the interior of the kiln.

Well anyway, thats as far as I got yesterday. Planned on finishing today but we're expecting 6-7 inches more snow today and don't know if I want to drive to the studio. We'll see. Stay tuned to the blog as I will be posting photos of the new kiln building project.

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