Research Project: Creating accessible strategies for atmospheric firings
At the 2016 NCECA conference in Kansas City my colleague Felipe and myself joined our ceramics professor, Patricia Fay, as she hosted a Discussion Session titled Mini Heat: A small-scale, fast-fire wood kiln. Based on the overwhelming response to this discussion we continued the conversation through a Connections Session with an expanded focus and a new approach.
In the summer of 2016, we pursued our research project on this question through a grant-funded student/ faculty collaboration to convert a decommissioned electric kiln to a gas reduction kiln with wood and soda firing capacity. We explored firing options at cone 3 (2100 degrees). This lead to a panel discussion for the 2017 NCECA conference.
The decommissioned electric kiln was stripped of all elements and switches, and the insulating fire brick was coated with refractory cement and soda-resistant kiln wash. The floor of the kiln was adapted for use with a six-burner gas firing system purchased from Summit Kilns in Lakeland, FL, and the walls of the kiln were substantially altered for the construction of a hard brick firebox and chimney.