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Kiln Design

My first ceramic assignment was to research a salt glazed bowl by Tony Nankervis. At the time I didn't know much about ceramics and even less about salt glazing. But by the end of that piece of research I was interested in the process enough that my lecturer Martin Kelly suggested we build a small salt kiln. We had great fun firing on weekends and this experience set me up for an attitude of "if you need a kiln build it";. I've been involved in the design and construction of over a dozen salt and wood kilns, as well as numerous temporary kilns for one off firings, paper kilns and wood fired raku kilns. The last couple of kilns I've built have been heavily related to the research I'm doing. They use design and materials to minimize the environmental impact of reducing wood fire kilns.

Anagama - 2005
This is one of the most recent kilns I've completed. It's 8 metres long by 2 metres high in places. The floor is heavy duty brick while the arch and chimney are Refractory Insulating bricks, with fibre and insulating mix as back up insulation. We fired this kiln for the first time in 2005, and for the first time I could stand up while packing. A very satisfactory first firing but, like all kilns, results should improve with firings as we get used to each other.
Mini Anagama 2005
Completed in 2005, this kiln is a scaled-down version of the other anagama (located above) which I completed in the same year. This mini-anagama was constructed using a similar shape and materials to the other anagama; it is simply smaller.
Oversize Bourry Box at Southbank TAFE 1995-2004
Initially this kiln was designed and built buy myself and students because they wanted it. Within a couple of years it became an important part of the curriculum. All spaces were doubled to allow the setting of work throughout the whole kiln, a lot of very good work came out of this kiln, and as an educational tool I believe it was unrivalled. Visible from all parts of the studio it became the central focal point during the 40-hour firings.
Wood-fire Salt Kiln 1994-1997
This kiln is a bit of a hybrid; with an anagama barrel arch feeding into a salt catenary arch. Getting 2 kilns in one was a good idea at the time but I've since developed a leaning towards more directional kilns.
Anagama - 1991-1998
This was a labour of love to complete this large stepped anagama. An accurate and neat piece of work that only needed a chimney before the first firing. Unfortunately we didn't see that day.