31 August 2009

the kilnbuilder is coming...the kilnbuilder is coming.

yes...i do feel as if this is my 'paul revere moment'. i believe that donovan and colleen will be the first clay people to see my kiln. the first people who own their own kilns to see mine..the first people who even know what a kiln really is to take a look at mine in the flesh.

donovan owns 'master kiln builders' and that is his profession. he builds fancy ones for famous clay people and big ones for universities and community clay centers along with ones for regular old studio potters. he welded the 'car bed' for my kiln which i hauled back from minnesota in the back of my subaru. i had a friend of my parents weld on my v-groove casters and one other piece that i wanted to be 'perfect', and then i welded everything else. it ain't pretty, but it's tight. thanks to sheila and mark for the embarrassingly long possession of their millermatic mig welder.

i feel that my kiln turned out pretty well. there are some glaring design/implementation issues..i.e. my damper, bizarre chimney stack and door but overall...not bad for no 'in person' help. I had great advice from kurt wild of wisconsin who talked me through the flue building and actually wrote a sample script for me to deal with the propane people.

i am just really looking forward to some help tweaking things. my bagwall (hard bricks placed inside the kiln where the flame enters to direct it upward (and off the wares) before it exits down at the bottom) for instance...i really don't know how tall is should be (or why for that matter) and my exit flue dimensions and probably 10 other things i haven't considered.

they are coming for vacation and to do some work at the archie bray foundation in helena so the focus will be on fly fishing, hiking, and camping but i will be grateful for 5 minutes with them discussing the details of my kiln. stay tuned.

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