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blow'd up kiln

updated thu 12 jul 01


mel jacobson on wed 11 jul 01

bob fritz' kiln explosion was three new kiln shelves.
the ultra thin, new shelves.

they still had water in them, and with the
wet spring, high humidity they did not get
dry. his first firing was a glaze, and they just
blew at about 1000F. three of them.
thousands of pieces...they blew like a dynamite explosion.
ruined the flat top, bulged the side walls, broke six more shelves
on the way through.

smith sharpe company, (great folks, i might add.)
were on the site, marshall even offered to help re/build.
they will replace, and help. as it should be, yet, bob thinks
he should have gone slower with those first firings....bisque
only the first time...but, then.....we will never know. he does
accept responsibility and is sharing the blame.

bob is a fine professional potter....cranbrook mfa. he has been struck
with two disasters this summer...a hose broke on his burners and burned
his small shed, and now kiln shelves...none of this was his fault.
he is careful, professional, and has great knowledge, yet, when
the fates hit, they just hit.

it is a good lesson for all of us. double check, don't believe `fail safe`,
and always maintain good kiln safety and practice.

who just put in new hoses, fireproof paint, triple checked everything
in the kiln room. had a firing yesterday, went like a dream.
Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S.A.
web site:

Lee Love on thu 12 jul 01


At the workshop, for the gas glaze firings, the kiln is fired to 250*C
the day before the glaze firing. It is called the aburee (sp?) firing. It
is to dry everything out before the glaze firing. Japan is the land 'o damp,
especially during the rainy season, which has just ended in the Kanto.


Lee Love
Mashiko JAPAN
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