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raku kiln fixation (longish)

updated fri 31 may 96


Michelle Campbell on fri 10 may 96

>----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>OBSESSION: It seems that I am becoming more and more fixated with getting a
>raku kiln, so my questions are increasing as well. Hope you all don't mind.
>Last Sunday was the last raku firing at Baltimore Clayworks with Sarah until
>next October, so I am getting desperate. I don't think I can wait that long!


If you are planning on storing in garage, I'd say fiber is the only way to
go. As easy as it may seem to you now, dismantling your brick kiln after
every time you fire would very soon become tiresome. Not to mention an
awful lot of extra work for nothing. My first Raku kiln was a fiber-lined
barrel. I had to fire in a carport so I could have a pulley system hooked
up. It worked great, but eventually I was frustrated with the size of the
kiln. I had it all on a wheel base - nobody scream at me - made of wood
with a cement sidewalk slab on top, more fiber under and over the slab.
Hey, it worked, and I only burned through once. I never set anything on
fire. I kept the garden hose handy. I fired in my back yard IN TOWN, my
neighbors never complained of the smoke, there wasn't all that much. I use
shredded paper to reduce in for that reason. The only way they knew when I
was firing was the noise from the propane tiger torch. Those things roar!

>What about kiln shelves? What kind should I get?
I just used an old broken one, supported by bricks. I figured the gap
between the pieces was good for letting the heat up.

Did you see the picture of a portable raku kiln in a recent suggestions
column in CM? Looks ideal for you. Mesh outside beats a barrel in
lightness and making it easier to fire alone.

My friend built herself a fiber and mesh portable kiln. She put large
handles on the sides with strapping. She could throw her base of bricks,
kiln and propane tank into the back of her jeep and fire wherever. We did
it in many a gravel driveway...

Good luck, hope you find a cure for your itch soon.

Michelle Campbell
Lacka Creek Pottery
Drayton Valley, Alberta

Where I was going to Raku this week, but snow and sick kids kept me from it.
Have to wait for hubby to come home for lunch and stay with the kids so I
can FINALLY head off to Fireworks.(2 hr drive) How am I going to get those
Clayart buttons I made to Clayarters when I am getting in on the tail end of