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Looking for small Stoneware Kiln Designs  RSS feed

 
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Hello everyone

I am a hobbyist potter and have been reading about medieval pottery.  Well I haven't even started making pottery yet, but I'm getting there.  Being interested in self sufficiency I have been focusing on harvesting and processing my own clay, and now looking towards building a stove for which I am trying to gleen some knowledge from medieval technology.

A wood fired all in one stove that could fire bricks, earthenware and stoneware would obviously be ideal, but maybe it's a little far fetched.

From reading a bit about pottery history I can see the Germans started making stoneware during Tudor times and selling it to us, so clearly they had kilns capable of say 1300C.  Has anyone come across these sorts of kilns?  They were based around Cologne, but a John Dwight from Fulham eventually copied the technology.  Their kilns may be a little large for my purposes.  I want to stick a real small version only say 3-4ft in width and height in my garden.  I don't care whether I follow medieval technology, I'm just looking for a way of making a small stoneware kiln out of local materials

They clearly didn't have factory fired refractory bricks or steel risers, so how did they do it and how can I apply it to my backyard stove?

Many thanks from London
 
pollinator
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I am looking to do much the same thing (even as far as the medieval pottery part of it goes). There is a large old wood fired kiln at Winchcombe pottery that they no longer use as they switched to gas probably for practical and cost reasons. I doubt the technology changed much though since the medieval era for purpose built kilns.

From what little I know of wood kilns they do need some attention. I like the idea of running off a sustainable source of heat like wood though, maybe wood gasification is the way to go?!

Next time I pop down there I will take some pictures of it.
 
master steward
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Howdy Jambo, I am not sure if this kiln would be hot enough for you but at about 4 minutes into this film he builds a kiln and fires tiles for his roof!

 
gardener
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I have been building experimental-scale English medieval style kilns for a dozen years or so now, as well as a 6 cubic foot or so one in my back field. I have gotten as high as cone 02 measured, and hotter a few times, judging by the vitrified surfaces and nearly ash-glazed spots. I typically get around cone 06 at the top of the load.

I have been researching the German stoneware kilns too, and have one excellent reference, _German Stoneware 1200-1900_, as well as miscellaneous information. Early stoneware kilns were around 2-3' wide x 6' long in the ware chamber, sloping somewhat, rather like Japanese kilns on a much smaller scale. The firebox was below and in front of the ware chamber, with flues leading up to it in several places. Salt glazing was a later development. The book has drawings of a few excavated 14th century stoneware kilns. I would be happy to discuss this at more length with you.
 
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Hey guys some info for wood fired kilns. The following books not only give good info but also plans and some material lists.

Wood fired stoneware and porcelain by Jack troy
Kiln book by Fred Olsen
Japanese wood fired ceramics by kusakabe and Lancet

Also, I make a living working in combustion and refractories hit me up if you hit a snag! manningceramics @gmail.com
 
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Jambo Reece wrote:Hello everyone

I am a hobbyist potter and have been reading about medieval pottery.  Well I haven't even started making pottery yet, but I'm getting there.  Being interested in self sufficiency I have been focusing on harvesting and processing my own clay, and now looking towards building a stove for which I am trying to gleen some knowledge from medieval technology.

A wood fired all in one stove that could fire bricks, earthenware and stoneware would obviously be ideal, but maybe it's a little far fetched.

From reading a bit about pottery history I can see the Germans started making stoneware during Tudor times and selling it to us, so clearly they had kilns capable of say 1300C.  Has anyone come across these sorts of kilns?  They were based around Cologne, but a John Dwight from Fulham eventually copied the technology.  Their kilns may be a little large for my purposes.  I want to stick a real small version only say 3-4ft in width and height in my garden.  I don't care whether I follow medieval technology, I'm just looking for a way of making a small stoneware kiln out of local materials

They clearly didn't have factory fired refractory bricks or steel risers, so how did they do it and how can I apply it to my backyard stove?

Many thanks from London


found on google



a double rocket fired Kiln
 
Glenn Herbert
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A stoneware kiln is likely going to require some non-local material in the form of firebricks, unless you have local clay that can stand stoneware temperatures. Much native clay is only good for earthenware or a bit hotter before it starts to shrink, distort and melt.

Firebricks can be expensive, especially insulating firebrick. It may be possible for you to build most of a kiln of local clay with purchased fireclay added to the inner (hot) surface. Clay can be made more insulating by mixing with sawdust, straw, or other organics that will burn out and leave small voids. Perlite also works well for mixing in.
 
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