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edschmidt 03-01-2007 06:36 PM

check out these brick kilns WOW
I just found this site which chronicles the building of walkin firebrick kilns for ceramics which are nearly identicle to giant wood fired ovens.
RobertComptonPottery - Home look at the kiln construction pages its very humbling.

DrakeRemoray 03-01-2007 09:08 PM

Re: check out these brick kilns WOW
That is very cool. I like it because it makes my pizza oven look so reasonable!

It says one of those large kilns uses 6 cords of wood per firing, and that they fire it only twice a year...


james 03-02-2007 09:57 AM

Re: check out these brick kilns WOW
Great find. Thanks for that. Isn't the photo with the flame lapping out of the chimney excellent. We were talking about heat and pizza ovens with someone a few months back, and he said something to the effect of don't forget that we are cooking food here, not melting steel. Those furnaces are very impressive.

Xabia Jim 03-03-2007 11:04 AM

Re: check out these brick kilns WOW
Note that they use rails. Load up the pottery and roll it into the kiln. I saw one like it in west Michigan. Makes me want to get the clay out again....

A lot of years ago I was sitting in my living room with the wood stove going....knock at the door....he said "do you know you have 6 feet of fire coming out out of your chimney?"....chimney fire but I didn't need to clean the chimney after that!

edschmidt 03-05-2007 06:57 AM

Re: check out these brick kilns WOW
I actually live in west michigan and if you remember the location, or the name of the place I would be very interested in taking a look at the kilns.
P.S. my wife is an art teacher and does ceramics so I think we both would be going along.

Eddie Schmidt

Xabia Jim 03-05-2007 12:17 PM

Re: check out these brick kilns WOW
Ed, it's Claybanks Pottery, just south of Stony Lake along the lakeshore road.

I have a bunch of their racu fish!

sneezer2 03-11-2007 08:45 PM

Re: check out these brick kilns WOW
Just joined and found this thread. For anyone interested, there is such a thing as a Dragon Kiln and I have been in one, though I didn't get cooked. The Dragon Kiln is the traditional hillside kiln used in Japan, China and Korea for firing their
beautiful high-fired pottery. The one I saw is in Yixing, China (about 80m west of Shanghai) It is the site of the old imperial potteries and is still a "ceramic city". The kiln I visited had not been fired in years as they now use modern gas fired factory kilns. It was generally fired once a year as that's how long it took to make and stack the wares. The kiln is basically a long tube, beginning at the bottom of a hill and running to the top. This one is about 100 yards long and 8ft high by 12ft wide, with various openings and ports for fuel and air. I met someone whose father had fired it using wood and, at the end, dried pine needles for the high temperature. It then took over a month to cool off. Quite a fascinating sight.

james 03-12-2007 08:02 AM

Re: check out these brick kilns WOW
This reminds me of a good arcane story. When the city of Venice got tired of burning down every time there was a glass furnace fire, they banned furnaces in the city and moved all the glass-making to Murano, where it still is today. There are some pretty cool glass blowing demonstrations on Murano, and you can even sneak into the production areas that don't allow visitors. There is also a good glass museum, with everything from Roman glass onward.

Anyway, what's interesting is that when they banned the glass furnaces, they also banned wood-fired pizza ovens. So to this day, you cannot get a great pizza in Venice.


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