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Wood Kiln Firing

For many potters, wood is more than just a source of heat for a kiln, it is a process. And if you are one of those potters, you probably can’t get enough of the wood kiln firing process. So in this section, we’ll try to help satisfy your insatiable appetite for wood kiln firing by providing technical articles to get you inspired for your next wood firing. You’ll find glaze recipes, wood kiln firing schedules, information on using and building wood kilns and more. Plus, if you haven't already, be sure to download your free copy of the Wood Kiln Firing Techniques & Tips: Plans and Instructions for Making a Wood-fired Kiln and Firing with Wood , a directory of ceramics suppliers, plus reference material for the studio artist - professional or amateur, student or teacher.


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Don’t Have a Wood Kiln? 10 Questions to Ask When Looking to Partner With a Wood Firing Group

Posted On August 13, 2014 2 Comments

You don’t have to own a wood kiln to wood fire your work, but it can be tricky to find a kiln firing group you’re comfortable with and that meets your needs. The key to success? Ask a lot of questions. In today’s post, an excerpt from the September 2014 issue of Ceramics Monthly, Dick Lehman shares a number of important questions for those who want to wood fire but don’t have a kiln.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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Low Firing with Wood

Posted On November 11, 2013 0 Comments

Chartreuse, pink, and purple are not colors you would typically associate with a wood firing, as these colors tend to get washed out in a high-fired wood kiln. For Richard James, the process of wood firing was central to his work, but he was often disappointed by the surfaces. So he adapted the process to fit the low-fire earthenware aesthetic he preferred. Now he finds he can retain the spontaneity of traditional wood firing, but also open opportunities for color and a more detailed surface. In today’s post, an excerpt from our revised freebie, Wood Kiln Firing Techniques & Tips: Plans and Instructions for Making a Wood-fired Kiln and Firing with Wood, he shares his techniques.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

Now THAT'S a kiln!

Brick by Brick: A Potter’s Smart Fundraising Idea Helps Fund Kiln and Build Customer Base

Posted On August 8, 2011 7 Comments

When potter Joseph Sand ran through his initial business loan before getting his kiln built, he came up with an inventive way to raise the funds and finish his 40-foot-long anagama. In the process, he also built a supportive community and customer base. In today’s post, an excerpt from the June/July/August 2011 issue of Ceramics Monthly, Joseph shares his story.

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All Aboard! Judith Duff Shares her Tumblestacking Techniques and Train Kiln Plans

Posted On August 1, 2011 5 Comments

When most people hear the words “tumble” and “pottery” in the same sentence, they might envision a pile of broken shards. But tumble does not always have a negative connotation in the pottery world. Tumblestacking – stacking pots on top of one another in a kiln, separated only by wadding – is a popular way to load pots in atmospheric firings because it can influence the path of the flame and the marks it leaves on the pots. This is the method Judith Duff uses in her train kiln to beautiful effect. Today, in an excerpt from the newly expanded Wood Kiln Firing Techniques & Tips: Plans and Instructions for Making a Wood-fired Kiln and Firing with Wood, Judith shares her firing method and the plans for her train kiln.

Matt Jones sitting on the ware bed of his 600-cubic-foot wood-burning kiln with a large jug and an umbrella stand, 2008.

Seriously Playful: The Pottery of Matt Jones

Posted On October 20, 2010 37 Comments

Today’s post highlights the pottery of Matt Jones, Using local materials and decorative traditions, Matt’s work pays homage to the time when pottery played an important role in survival. Even the tools he uses exemplify this reverence for “our collective pottery past” as he puts it. Take, for instance “The Crusher,” Matt’s super low tech and incredibly brilliant homemade device for crushing old bottles into powder for his glazes. Matt explains how it works, and we have a video of it in action! So cool! He also shares a couple of glaze recipes.

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A New Pot’s Story

Posted On October 8, 2009 2 Comments

In my last firing, I made a pot that satisfied me like none before. It was one of those miracles where a good form and an even better firing combine with a dollop of serendipity. On a whim, I yanked the piece out of the kiln on the last day of a six-day wood firing. As I watched it cool from red heat into glacial blues, whites, and blacks, I was overcome with both a feeling of accomplishment and a vision of a new and exciting direction for my work.

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Wood Kiln Firing Techniques and Tips: Inspiration and Information for Making a Wood-Fired Kiln and Firing with Wood Available for Download!

Posted On September 14, 2009 16 Comments

Today’s post is an excerpt from our new free download, Wood Kiln Firing Techniques and Tips, in which Nesrin During shows us how to combine wood firing and raku firing. As you’ll see, wood firing isn’t just about high firing. You can build a simple raku kiln and fire your work with wood to get stunning results.

Firing steadily for more than 30 hours, the kiln reaches Cone 10. The kiln is allowed to soak at that temperature for a few hours, then it's sealed to allow it to cool slowly for a few days.

Building an Anagama Kiln for a High School Ceramics Class

Posted On June 1, 2009 4 Comments

An anagama kiln at a high school? That seems highly unlikely, doesn’t it? Many high school art teachers feel lucky to have a wheel and a small electric kiln. But Council Bluffs, Iowa, high school art teacher Clay Cunningham was determined. And with careful planning and execution, he, his students and some local potters made this vision a reality (and with great results, like the vase at left by student Rick Devoss). Today, in an excerpt from the July/August 2009 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, Clay shares the process and plans for building the “High School Anagama.”

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Wood Firing Basics

Posted On September 14, 2008 3 Comments
Wood burns in two distinctly different stages. The first, and most obvious, is the burning of gasses produced when wood is heated. Wood begins to gasify at about 500°F. The second is the burning of the charcoal. This happens, for the most part, after the materials that form the gasses have been driven out of… Read More »
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Pottery Decorating Video: Trimming and Glazing a Wire-Faceted Bowl Pt. 2

Posted On July 18, 2008 2 Comments

This week’s Video Tip of the Week is a follow-up video on trimming and glazing the wire-faceted bowls Mark Peters demonstrated last week. In today’s video, Mark shares a Cone 10 Temmoku glaze recipe and Randy Johnston’s flashing slip recipe, which he likes to use on these forms. We have also posted these recipes on the site so you don’t have to worry about jotting them down while watching the video. Enjoy! -Jennifer Harnetty, editor.