Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Raku kiln, version 2.0

New Raku kiln

Bye, bye metal trash can, you've been replaced for a nicer, fancier model. Soft bricks rings to modulate the height according to pieces. Light top out of ceramic fiber for easy lifting, and a big flue to take small pieces through. And a huge space inside ! 23" diameter, great for large platters.

I took it out on a test drive last week. First ride was a saggar firing, baked potato style (see former post). Firing was done in an hour to 1400F, then I shut down the gas, plugged the holes and let it cool down naturally. It took about 4 hours to 250F, I unloaded the next morning. Aluminum foil had disintegrated to leave wonderful orange/red pots.

Square Bottles

Vase with australian fern imprint
Second ride was a regular Raku firing. I placed several pieces with crackle and copper glazes, as well as a Naked Raku piece. Again, the firing went well. I took out the Naked Raku piece at 1350F, after 45 mins, then I proceeded to increase the temperature to close to 1850F in another 20 mins or so. Venturi burner could definitely handle the kiln size, that was the true test. I am very happy with the results. Here are two of my signature Orb series.

Crackled Orb

Shadow Orb with pedestal
Ok, back to the studio ! I need more Raku pieces. I am all fired up ! :)