kuranda years
opening new kiln

In June 2012, Myra and I moved to Gulmarrad in the Clarence River Valley near MacLean, New South Wales.

I dismantled the Kuranda kiln and transported 800 firebricks (a mixture of Dense, high alumina and insulators) to our new home.

After the usual settling-in period I built a new kiln. This time I used the Shatrov kiln design in Steve Harrison's book - "Laid Back Wood Firing". I used the same firebox layout as for the Kuranda kiln and incorporated a 16 cu ft short throat chamber. I purchased extra k26 and backup insulators from Field Furnace Refractories. I carved 84 arch bricks using a bow saw and jig, from the k26s and layed up a 30 cu ft chamber and covered it with insulating blanket and fibreglass insulation. The chimney started out at 3.5m, however after the first bisque firing I extended it to 4.5m.

This kiln took me 3 months to build including extremely wet weather in January and February. Clarence River flooding.

Then came the nice bit - throwing pots. I am using Walkers No10 and Clayworks RSF.

The first firing was a bisque and was successful. 1050 degC in 11 hours. A bit slow at the end, hence the chimney extension.

The first glaze firing was held on July 3, 2013. A momentous day.

As with the Kuranda kiln I started with gas for 4 hours to 100deg C. Then got cone 11 down after a further 8 1/2 hours. The throat chamber got VERY hot. Cone 11 was a puddle and I had some meltdown of the fibre roof. Changes to be made to this part of the kiln. I carried out an oxidising burn down to 970 and clammed up.

All together a very successful firing with all the glazes behaving themselves. Nice Tenmoku, white Shino, Rutile Blue and other trials. The RSF gave nice flashing, hope it continues to be available.

I used 9kgs of gas,3 barrow loads of floor wood and approximately 2 1/2 cubes (650x650x650) of hob wood. This was mixed hardwood obtained from my neighouring friendly sawmiller.

The kiln was easy to manage and there was hardly any smoke. A truly laid back firing.

The galleries tab shows the kiln build and firing results.

CONTACT: stevesessions@westnet.com.au