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a small saggar kiln

updated wed 21 feb 01


Pdragrande@AOL.COM on mon 19 feb 01

When I had my old kiln I did quite a bit of saggar firing. I expect to be
buying a new downdraft kiln in the spring and I hesitate to put all that
smokey old stuff in it. So I have designed a small saggar kiln. (That is to
say I thought it up and drew pictures of it. I'm not a designer) Now I
would like to ask the group if they think it would work. I have no way of
submitting pictures, but I think I can draw a verbal picture to describe it.

Basically it is a big, hard firebrick box with a saggar inside of it. The
outside box is about 30'wide, 36" long and 40" tall. The roof of the box is
made of three 12" X 30" X 5/8" kiln shelves. The kiln can be built on the
ground or on concrete. There are three courses of brick. Then there is the
saggar floor (made from kiln shelves--1"thick) which reaches from one end to
the other of the kiln, but does not reach to the side walls of the outside
box. In one end of these first three courses I will leave an opening for a
burner. Above the saggar floor there would be about 9 more courses of brick.
On the top course I would leave some bricks out for the heat to escape. In
my description above I have not accounted for the side walls of the saggar.
They would be about 3" from the outside walls of the kiln. They would be
made of brick or I would build them of some groggy clay.

I plan to use a raku burner to fire. The burner would send the heat in
through the burner box opening. In theory, the heat would travel up the
sides of the kiln and out the openings in the top course of bricks.

Why would I want to do this? I make some large things that take a lot of
time to make. I want to give them that smokey look, but I don't want to just
fire them in a pit. I would like to fire more gradually to avoid cracking
and breaking.

If anyone can give me advice I'd sure appreciate it. I am wondering if this
would work or if I might blow myself up. Could I fire a little more slowly
than say a raku fire? I'll let the list know what I find out and if I try it
and if it works.

Thanks in advance, Nancy