Sunday, 28 July 2013

Experimental gas kiln project

Recently I've become very interested in black glazes and the Japanese technique of Hikidashi, where pots are pulled straight from the kiln at top temperature and allowed to cool extremely rapidly in the air, or immersed in water. I wanted to find a way to fire tea bowls quickly outside, with a view to designing a small kiln with a removabe roof or wall .. I could then use (very long!) tongs to grab the bowl at over 1200 degrees C and place it in water or a reduction chamber, as is done with raku pots.

As I've not fired with gas before, I set up a little test kiln yesterday. The kiln has a very small chamber with only enough room for three small pots or maybe one large tea bowl. I was over-optimistically hoping I could fire it to cone 10 in less than 2 hours, in the event it took 4 hours but still pretty quick compared to a large gas kiln.

I was really happy to get cone 10 to bend (1285 degrees C on the pyrometer) since the kiln design was rather ad hoc, rule-of-thumb, and quickly assembled. Surprisingly, the results were very pleasing .. I would have liked a little more reduction but I need more practice and knowledge of how to create heavy reduction in a gas kiln.

Here are some photos of the firing and two of the pots:


Thanks for reading.


  1. congrats on the kiln experiment and the pots I think they turned out wonderful, next thing you know you'll be building a bigger kiln. Ha.

    1. thanks, Linda, the nice think about this type of kiln is you can vary the size and design. If it doesn't work, just take it down and build another one. :)

  2. Wow, amazing to see how you constructed it! It turned out to be a lovely ash glaze like green. I am thinking to buy a small gas kiln, myself, for reduction firing. : )

  3. Thanks, Midori, it's a very simple design so I'm fairly surprised it worked so well. I look forward to seeing your kiln in operation, if you buy one. We can compare notes on how best to get good reduction :)