Friday, January 15, 2010

Little Rocketman Kiln

Yes, I know, I haven't posted anything for a while but Happy New Year and here is this year's first post. I have been keeping busy. Besides my paying job I have been doing a lot of stuff at the studio and stop everyday, although I haven't been making any pots. My newest project is the construction of a wood burning kiln that I am calling "Little Rocketman." It is a smaller version of a kiln that was designed by Mike Weber quite some time ago. I found a photo of it a few weeks back on Dave Zdrazil's website and thought to myself---"Too Cool! I can make a smaller version of this and start the fire this Spring."

My first experience with wood firing was with Tony Ferguson in 2005 and his kiln is the same design, but bigger. In Fact, I think both David and Tony were students of Mike Weber. Anyway, I'm just now starting to build the form for this wood burning, cantenary arch, tube anagama.
It took me a while to come up with the shape and final size of this Little Rocketman. All I knew is that I didn't want a kiln the size of Tony's, as it would take too much time and effort, not to mention money, to build and fire that dragon. Dave's kiln looked like the best fit for me but I ended up drawing my own plans based on standard firebrick brick sizes, and kiln shelf sizes. What I came up with was a kiln that I could afford to build and also one that I thought I'd be able to fire by myself in relatively a short amount of time (anything less than 24 hours). So I came up with these dimensions: 6-feet overall length that would incorporate approximately 36 square inches of flat kiln shelf space in the rear of the kiln, 36 flat square inches of firebox/ash pit area, and with interior arch dimensions of 36-inches wide by 31-inches tall. These measurements allow me to crawl into and out of the kiln for loading and unloading without it being too much of a pain in the ass. I know because I created a cardboard template to test it out. I came up with the cantenary arch by cutting out a bunch of wooden templates of standard straight bricks, #1, #2 and #3 arch bricks. I played with these wooden cut-outs until I came up with something I liked. Stay tuned for more info on the construction process. Next step is building the form.