Wildcat Creek Brick Company

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Second firing of the new Flora kiln. Much better.

Changes have been made and the results show much promise! With the help of the forced air blower, taller chimney, and 15 hour firing, my sons and I have hit the temperatures we needed. With this kiln I have learned to be more patient. It is bigger and wakes up slowly, like an old bear from hibernation.

I made some more bricks and a few pots to go along with the refires from last times attempt. The chamber is much fuller than last time . I still am working on the proper placement of everything to get good flow to the flue. Guess it will just take time to learn about this beast!

Some of my young help.

Smoke from the chimney was not to overpowering. Thats a good thing being at the edge of the town where people have to breath all of it if the winds shift to out of the west.

Early on I stoke the firebox alternating left side then right side. This keeps the cold flue and chimney from "choking" on too much gases. As it warms up I begine to stoke both sides together. I can only feed it everything it wants toward the end if the firing. Then its hard to keep up with its hunger.

Its at this point I begin the salt glazing. Nothing fancy, just throwing in a cupfull to each side of the firebox every other stoking. Im not sure how it will glaze though, the pots at the top may not be quite hot enough or not get the full effect of the salt vapors. We will see.

I will post to show the results after the cooldown.

Heres a short video of it for all of you.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Trial kiln run needs some improvement.

I fired my latest kiln up last saturday on a test run to work out any bugs it may have. There was alot of it that needed improvement! This is my first arched chamber and the location of the exit flue is low. This makes for weak draft until the chimney warms up. It smoked like crazy the first hour or so. Even after that it didnt draw like I wanted until after a few hours stoking.

Since I built this kiln at my new site, I had to bring over everything from the other location I was working at before. I hadnt bothered to bring the blower for the firebox. Wasnt sure I would need it. I think I do. Couldnt get it up past red. I couldnt reach the temperatures needed without it in my short firing timeframe. 1 day. So that little blower is gonna be a must have for this kiln too.

I built the upper part of the chimney in a hurry the days before the first firing. I didnt like its look or the gaps in the brickwork. Neither did the local policeman on duty. lol. That night he payed me a visit worried that the flames he saw shooting up from it were gonna burn down the barn. Guess he wasnt used to seeing chimneys shooting out flames after wood stoking. I have since rebuilt it taking the time to do it right and make it a couple feet taller for better draft.

Ive found a new sorce of field clay I am excited about that it seems to work much better. I will post when I have some results for all of you to see.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My first brick kilns video

Here is a short video record of my brick and pottery kilns.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A new kiln

I am constructing a new kiln. This one will take all that I have learned and put it together in a new indoor barn kiln.

Update on my wood furnace construction

Ive been working here and there on the brick building that houses my outdoor wood furnace boiler. I have recently added the archway over the door frame. I think im getting the hang of laying bricks and mortar now. Not a pro, but im satisfied with it.