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electric turned woodfire

updated sun 1 jul 01


David Woof on sat 30 jun 01

1980 this kid, mark, knew he must be a potter, Parents had other plans so
mark left home, lived in a barn and fired with wood in two cast-off electric
kilns. This was in wisconsin. I used to see him at shows. Interesting work,
well crafted, playful. He was the kid with the parrot, for memory sake.

as i remember, he had one kiln on it's side with firebox attached and the
other made a second chamber in the upright position as updraft.

mark fired in the stoneware range, no small feat at that time when many were
struggling to get far enough away from the gas fire mind set to comprehend
the physics of wood as a fuel and the design demands to have a successful

any refractory box can become a kiln of sorts and if one thinks of the
firebox as the fuel generator where the solid wood is converted to a
combustable gas, the setting chamber as the burner, and the flue as the
means to cause air flow thru the system one has a working concept of how a
wood fire kiln works.
Be generous with providing air intake and flue capacity.

Whatever you read or someone tells you, some folks depend too much on
formulas, build it a little bigger. you can always plug it up easier than
rebuild. when fireing have an extra section of metal pipe or cut out barrel
the size of your flue available, adding it later is a quick way to find out
if you need more draught.

the flue will pull air faster thru the air intakes as needed but you can't
push the exhaust gasses thru a flue that is too small.
the chimney is the heart of a wood fire kiln, as a blower on a gas burner or
a turbocharger on a shelby.

Perhaps i got on a rant a little here but nothing makes me cringe more than
a beautifuly constructed woodkiln with a gassssssfire design for the exit
flue. Still see some around, like empty farm houses,so much waste, so much
potential if someone would kick out the back wall and let them breathe.

I hope I've added fire to your inspiration, go for it, it's all about
learning, doing, enjoying, so there's no way to lose.

Rather regret something i did than something i could have and didn't.

David Woof

Earth and Fire Studios

525 Fiesta St.


Always a little over the edge; reverently takeing an irreverent look at

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