clennell on thu 21 sep 06
> Depends on the design of woodkiln you choose. Some are more
> efficent than others.
> Many potters and Onsen operators here in Japan are being
> put out of business because of the high costs of lpg and fuel oil.
Dear Lee: Gas is still cheaper than water. A litre of gas is 79.4 cents per
litre today, a litre of water at the convenience store well over a buck. My
wood kiln is efficient, it's me that's not.
You're not paying yourself if you think woodfiring is cheaper than gas
8 years ago a Cone 10 glaze firing was costing us $37- two mugs.
Today a gas firing is costing us about $125- 1 teapot
Today Sheila and I will both throw about $1000 worth of pots each while the
gas kiln is firing.. The kiln contains about $4,000 retail in pots and we
fire 25 times a year. Don't get excited not everything turns out and not
everything is sold retail.
The wood kiln on the other hand takes 3 face cords of wood at $70 a face
cord. I can carry one cord in my pickup so I make 3 trips of 20 kilometers
to and fro. That takes the better part of a day and let's say $20 in gas for
my truck. I haven't talked yet about the amount of time I will take cleaning
up the kiln, wadding, firing and the whole nine yards. In short it's the
better part of a weeks work.
I understand and appreciate that wood is a renewable resource but not until
the cost of gas as a fuel is worth more than my labour could I honestly say
I'm saving money by firing with wood. It's more of an aesthetic choice than
a economical one.
Best to you and Jean.