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lynne's inspiration & small salt kiln

updated sat 17 jun 00


GURUSHAKTI@AOL.COM on tue 13 jun 00

Hi Joyce:

If I were going to build a small salt kiln, I would probably opt for a
Catenary Arch using AP Green's Mizzou type castable that Craig mentioned the
other day and spray it with ITC 100 after the first bisque firing.
It will be interesting reading the feedback. My Geil burners and pilot bar
didn't take too kindly to one salt and one soda firing and I'm wondering if
perhaps I shouldn't entertain building a small castable salt/soda kiln in the
future instead of stressing this old Geil. My problem is the town only allows
one kiln and how do you hide an outdoor kiln, even a small one! I'll have to
muse on that one! :-)

Warm regards,

iandol on wed 14 jun 00

Re: Lynne's inspiration & small salt kiln

outdoor kiln, even a small one!>=20

To answer June, either camouflage it to resemble something which would =
be allowed, such as your incinerator. In Australia that might be a =
disused 44gal drum. Or use the suggestion of making it from separate =
small cast parts and demounting it after every use. Claim that the city =
ordinance allows you to fire one kiln at a time but does not prohibit =
you from having several kilns which have differing uses. Think Lateral.

Hope you have success, in spite of haveing Big Brother watch over you. =
Talk to a sympathetic Alderman.

Ivor in S.Oz

GURUSHAKTI@AOL.COM on thu 15 jun 00

Hi Kurt:

Good idea, but I don't have the space inside my kiln shed to do that, nor do
I have room to expand the kiln shed. The area couldn't be any tighter, but it
was the only place I could put my kiln on a very sloping lot, and have it
close to the studio, and not be an eyesore for the neighbors and building
inspectors! We have size limits on extra buildings. Heck, we even have solar
laws which limit the height of buildings so you don't rob your neighbors sun.
I was thrilled that I could even have a kiln! It's been quite an adjustment
going from a country property with several kilns to in town, retirement
living and potting!
I think I can build a temporary kiln inside the bigger kiln. I could use
the chimney and floor of the current kiln (it's ITC'd insulating brick) . I'm
thinking that I could just dip some insulating bricks in the ITC and then
build it without mortar and just use fiber board for the roof. That's one
This would be the easiest thing for me to do at the moment, with the
materials I have on hand; but the one question is "Will the soda fuse the
bricks if they're ITC'd, making it a solid structure that I won't be able to
move! I suspect it might be OK, but I don't know for a certainty that that
will be the case.
I don't want to use the existing burners. There was a lot of rusting out of
the burners and pilot bar after one light salt firing and one soda firing in
my old Geil kiln. I replaced five of the six burners after only two firings.
I think it's because they sit under the kiln and point upward and got hit
more with the soda/salt than side burners would. That's just a guess.
I'd like set up a flexible hose on a single, powerful burner (all
suggestions welcome)!. I just need to figure out how to do it and who I can
get to do it without a permit! I might just try the whole thing out first
using a weed burning torch and my portable propane tanks, and making the
kiln really tiny. It will be a fun experiment. Then I'll think about what I
can do to get something a little bit bigger in there, given the limit of
portability of kiln building materials available at the moment.
I had also thought that perhaps ITC'd fiber blanket on a chicken wire frame
might even be better because of the light weight, making it easy to move in
and out between firings; but I haven't thought of what I would do for plugs
for the salt port and peep hole. I'm not sure if I could make something that
could support the weight of even a lightweight insulating brick plug. Back to
the drawing board! :-)
I need to go back and read some of the archives and see if there's anything
in there on lightweight modules/fiber board in soda/salt firing. I think
modules could work very well; but I don't know how much they weigh, sizes
that are available, or how I could join the modules temporarily, without a
framework, and then easily store them between non soda firings. So much to
Thanks for the feedback. Any and all input from fellow Clayarters on
suggestions for lightweight material/fiber modules and how to work with them,
etc. is very welcome! :-)

Warmest regards,

GURUSHAKTI@AOL.COM on thu 15 jun 00

Thanks Ivor; but our city only allows one kiln and the size is also limited.
We can't call it an incinerator because that isn't allowed except with permit
and only at certain times of the year. We can't even burn on fireplaces
except on "green" day (days determined to be low pollution risk). So I'm
trying to work within the rules and stretch them only a bit. :-)
I think I'm onto something with building a lightweight kiln inside my Geil
downdraft. Right now I'm in the middle of a cycle for a cone 10 reduction
firing in that kiln, so I'm a couple of weeks away from being able to tackle
this project; but it will give me time to explore all the possibilities!

Thanks again for your suggestions!

Warmest regards,

Kurt Wild on thu 15 jun 00

> Hi Joyce:My problem is the town only allows
> one kiln and how do you hide an outdoor kiln, even a small one! I'll have to
> muse on that one! :-)
What if you built the second and somehow connected it to the same stack
as the first one. That has been done you know. Call it the
single-double kiln? or something that would imply one.
Kurt Wild
1000 E. Cascade Ave.
River Falls, WI 54022
Phone: 715-425-5715
web site:

Lee Love on fri 16 jun 00

----- Original Message -----

| Good idea, but I don't have the space inside my kiln shed to do that, nor
| I have room to expand the kiln shed.

Could you rebuild the kiln into a two chambered kiln, with a salt chamber
between the main chamber and the chimney? I've thought a kiln like this
would be handy. I like a little salt or soda, but don't need much of it.

Have you thought about saggar firing in your existing kiln?

Lee Love
Nanai , Mashiko-machi ,Tochigi-ken 321-4106 JAPAN
Voice Mail and Faxes (a USA number): (303) 256-0374
Help E.T. Phone Earth:

GURUSHAKTI@AOL.COM on fri 16 jun 00

Hi Lee:

I have saggar fired in my smaller gas kiln (one of the kilns I gave away when
we moved). I did cone 10 firings and I loved the results. Amador clay was
particularly lovely -- nice warm orange/deep apricot, yummy colors. I didn't
use salt in those, just sawdust, chicken manure, banana peels, copper
carb.etc. A friend of mine used to use elephant dung which her friend got
from the local zoo in Santa Barbara. The pots were great! :-)
I do miss my smaller kiln, which is one of the reasons I'm exploring this
idea of a small soda kiln. Then I can also use it for saggar firing.
When I did saggar firings years ago, I used this glass bowls which were
originally made for melting silicon beads. These bowls are now sold in
Metaphysical stores as crystal bowls, for a couple of hundred dollars, but
their original intent was to melt silicon beads! I got a few of then very
cheaply when I lived in Santa Barbara. Some fellow hadn't paid his storage
bill and the owner sold them and a lot of us potters bought them and used
them for saggar firing!