Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Things seem to be moving on at the kiln... the chimney is coming along slowly between other tasks. Pretty soon though we will have to bite the bullet and rent ourselves some scaffolding, at which point we'll need to finish up pronto as we'll be on the clock so to speak.
The kiln has been a little more tricky than expected as none of the bricks are the exact same size. We've ended up laying all the bricks down with a thick mortar joint, and then hammering them all level with a 2x4. A trick I learned from Andres Allik who might just be one of the best kiln builders I've met.

For those of you with an eye for details, it's obviously not perfectly level across the top of the chimney... however the chimney is perfectly plumb, and when you are dealing with bricks of varying sizes, that's all you can ask for.

So here's where we're at now:
The second chamber arch is all done, along with the secondary firebox arch. The castable should be set by tomorrow. We should be able to remove the arch form from the second chamber and if everything goes according to plan the form should fit right into the first chamber and we'll get right the first chamber arch. The original plan was to build the whole kiln except the first firebox and then fire the tatami brick in the second chamber. However we are now considering firing a batch of mugs that Julie has made for a special order in the second chamber. So we would fire her mugs first and then move on to the tatami bricks afterword.
The timeline is a little tight. Luckily we've had some good help from a couple young potters in the area. Gaines whose picture you can see above, and Matt who came out after work to help us on the second chamber.

Either way things seem to be moving along well, and we hope to be firing later next week....


Ron said...

It's crazy how many bricks the chimney takes.

ang said...

looking great!! nice work fellas..

Alex Matisse said...

Where did you get those bricks that were off size? Louisville? I built my chimney out of seconds and had some similar issues. Only by an 8th of an inch or so though...

The kiln looks great!

Joe and Christy said...

yeah they are Louisville. Like yours they are only an 16th or an 8th of an inch off, but it all seems to add up quickly. I shows the most in the arches where it is supposed to be exactly 7 bricks wide... we were too lazy to cut every one to fit the width. The side walls should cover it all up anyways. I hope everything is going well in preperation for your first firing.