Limestone and Cedar

Wood Firing Kiln

This kiln is a two chamber wood burning kiln built in 2001 by Donovan Palmquest. It is located in Northern Indiana. Its a pretty big kiln for me so I fire only a few times a year. The last time I did a firing was last October; late fall and early spring are my favorite times to fire.
A lot of potters take several days to fire, but my firing in this kiln was very short. We reached temperature in the first chamber in about 24 hours and then I took 6 more hours to fire the second chamber to cone 9. The second chamber can reach temperature in about half an hour, so I have to be very careful to go slowly to allow the glazes to mature and build depth.
Unlike many potters, I choose to glaze most of the work because I`m interested in the effect of fly ash and flame on my natural ash glazes. Because there`s wood ash in my glaze already the fly ash blends in beautifully, making unpredictable variations that add a depth that`s not obtainable in a gas kiln. I especially like how the flame gives a warm tone to the exposed clay body. The bottoms of the pots are suspended by small wads of clay that are removed after the firing, this allows the flame to pass under them.I use the gas kiln for developing glazes and firing wares that would warp or distort when exposed to direct contact with flame. When I get the glaze to where I want it to be, I`ll use it in the wood kiln, and see what that adds to it.

Right now I`m working on flat plates that are hand built on the wheel. they do a lot better in the gas kiln. I`ll post some pictures up here soon.