Friday, November 19, 2010

Firing number 2

The tatami brick are all loaded up and ready to go. Matt Haliburton came out and helped us make the last of the tatami bricks this last Tuesday. Making the tatami bricks has been a learning experience. I think I've got the hang of it now that we've got them all finished up. For those of you who are curious the most concrete information about tatami bricks can be found in Will and Douglass' comprehensive article that they wrote for 'Studio Potter' back in 1994. This is the information (clay recipe, making techniques, firing temp, ect...) that we used to make our tatami bricks. Other info can be found in 'The Potters book' by Bernard Leach, and 'The Kiln Book' by Fred Olsen. Here's a picture of me rolling one out:

They are all loaded up and we started preheating them. They aren't completely dry and they are fairly thick so we are planning on preheating for several days.
Julie just finished up the first chamber sidewall this evening.

I've spent the last couple of days getting the firebox to the point where we will start using the tatami bricks. I think I have a couple of layers to go...

The upper arch is for stoking, while the lower arch is for preheating, removing ash after the firing, and for crawling inside.... in case one of the grate bricks needs to be replaced.

The shape of the firebox requires very different brick laying techniques from the rest of the kiln. It uses very large mortar joints with slivers of bricks jammed in to tighten everything up, and prevent shrinking of the joints latter on.

The firebox bricks are notched around the stoking arch, and the preheating/ash removal arch to prevent the smaller arches from walking/being pushed forward.

Here's a shot from above.

So here's where we are now:

We'll keep you updated as things progress.

1 comment:

Hitomi said...

What a good idea to make&fire necessary kiln parts by itself. Tatami bricks looks great. I don't know why those clay cones are called tatami, literally tatami means straw mattress or carpet in Japanese though. Can't wait to see how you guys finish up the kiln building. Good luck.