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wood fired/ ash glazes/koie cooker

updated tue 22 jun 04


Gary Navarre on mon 21 jun 04

Hay Crew,
"Hold your horses, we won't know until we test it!" whats my grandfather
used to say to the bosses at Detroit Edison when he invented something
to fix their problem. The Koie cooker seems like a way to produce a
quantity of certain ashes in a sitting. Since I posted the rough plans
yu'd think I'd try it, well I did yesterday. I took a small galvanized
wash tub Peter wasn't using, tipped it over and placed a 15" octagonal
shelf on the bottom. Then 4 brick on stretcher course to form a square.
On that course laid one of those round cooling racks for baking and
stacked two more courses of brick. Then the fire was started with some
dryer Red Pine brush and slightly covered with a scrap of kiln shelf.
Once a slight draft developed a section of flue liner was placed on the
bricks, filled with more brush and caped with enough opening to snip
pieces of stick/brush onto the opening. As the smoldering fire adjusted
itself a long stick was used to stuff more brush into the liner.
Then I noticed the smoke drifting around the woods and thought the
landlord might think there is a fire so I called Les to tell him what
I'm up to, he just chuckled "OK" and I went back to stoking. I found it
took some time to smolder down between charges so I filled it up real
good, caped it close to closed and went to my daily spiritual
discussion group in Iron Mountain. This time I was a bit late because I
checked one of my pine cone hot spots and filled 1-1/4 sack with nice
clean dry fresh Red Pines, big 2-1/2to3"ers. When I got back to the
fire it was still smoldering nicely, slowly and needed a charge of
brush. So the cap was opened enough to slip those tips of Red Pine
brush and snips of pinkey sized sticks. The thicker sticks I'm saving
for the kiln.
This stoking continued periodically through the night until after dawn
when I hit the sack. That afternoon the burner was cool. I forgot to
slide the cap closed but the hole wasn't vary big and I don't think
much ash escaped. I did see vary fine particles when taking the cap off
and put it back, not,however before noticing the ash pile is 11" deep
and the brick is clean. I can't say that for the flue which is black
inside with tars. The thick steamy smoke had a lot resin.
The primary purpose to all this is to capture as much fine particles as
possable. When I cleaned the burner before this test the ash from the
first dry run was still inside and had compacted due to a few weeks
weather. I'm thinkin if I moisten with a spray bottle and let it settle
a while I could retrieve the ash in a nice sized chunk in a day or two
or three. I'm gonna try that!
Stay in there and as my mom always says "Keep going!".

Gary Navarre
Navarre Pottery
Norway, Michigan, USA, Earth

"Humans are the only organisms that can search for God and when they
think they found it start to argue about what it is." G. in da U.P.