Wildcat Creek Brick Company

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Death and rebirth, A new kiln for Wabash and Erie Canal Park in Delphi.

With much excitement and some sadness I report to you the ongoing construction of a new brick and tile kiln in Delphi. I have been honored with the task of building a replica historical brickmaking kiln at the Wabash and Erie Canal Park. There you can find a village with several cabins and period homes and other structures from the 1830's to 1880's time frame. They also have an actual reconstructed canal boat that offers rides. For those of you with an interest in metalworking there is a blacksmith shop as well as two iron bridges nearby that have been restored.

The new kiln is a scaled down simple updraft clamp scove fired by wood. This is much like kilns of that time in this area. It is designed to fire a few hundred bricks or tiles each time. The inner body of the kiln is made out of recycled firebrick. This is surrounded by an outer shell of common red brick. In between is filled with dirt for insulation and to stop cold air leakage into the kiln.

The new kiln is the largest I have ever built so far. Because of that it has put a strain on my supply of brick, requiring me to tear down and recycle both of my other kilns for the needed brick.

The barn kiln wasn't a big loss to me as it never worked out as well as I would have liked. Failing to reach peak temps no matter what I tried.

But to loose my backyard bottlekiln is sad. It more than did as I hoped it would. Its sacrafice for the greater good will not be in vain. I hope to one day bring it back bigger and better.