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wood i?

updated fri 24 sep 04


clennell on thu 23 sep 04

Mel wrote:

> the art center backs up to about 50 one million
> dollar homes. are those folks going to just sit
> there and have salt smoke and wood smoke
> flowing through their living room? you bet your
> ass they will shut them down in a heart beat.
> `but, mel, we need a salt kiln, whaaaaaaaaaa`.
> my answer is:
> why?
> what in the hell is wrong with the great stoneware kiln
> you have? use it. build a second one if you need it.
> but, why risk shutting down the pottery?

Dear Mel:
There are woodkilns just like Waynes woodstove that have been designed to
be very efficient burners. The John Neely train kiln is one of them. I
invited the Fire Marshall to our first firing. He looked at the wood and
said there will have to be smoke. He came the day of the firing and said'
Don't call me again. He is a regular customer of ours now.
The wood kiln ought to be encouraged. It may a potters way of helping to
save the planet. I have a friend that is a Phd in Trees. They have ash and
alder/poplar trees that grow about 6-10 feet a year. a potter with an acre
can be self sufficient in house and kiln fuel.
A potter at the wood conference this week said even a student of nursing
ought to come to the ceramics studio, make pots and fire a wood kiln. So
many of lifes lessons to be learned.
As for salting- soak some hardwood kindling in a salt brine. Stoke every
once in a while No big charges of pounds and pounds of salt. Fill glazed
cups with salt and put them among the setting of pots.
An electric kiln in the hands of an idiot can give us all a bad rap. With
intelligent leaders in the field of ceramics wood kilns may in fact be the
very best route to go. I think this is what is on KT's mind.
As for millionaires row. Get their names and send them an invite to the
first train wood firing show at the art center. Once they see how the warmth
of this aesthetic fills their homes they'll be setting up endowments to keep
the wood program alive.
Don't shut kilns down bfore they are built, based on old information.
Maybe in retirement I'll first retire the gas kiln and go wood all the way.
Wood I? You bet I wood!

Tony and Sheila Clennell
Sour Cherry Pottery
4545 King Street
Beamsville, Ontario