KIA's Anagama Kiln (Wood Fired Ceramic Kiln)

Anagama kiln panorama

In order for clay to become ceramic, pottery must be fired in a kiln. The earliest pots, dating back several thousand years, were fired with wood. An anagama is just one design of a wood kiln, characterized by a single, large chamber built on an incline and shaped like flame. Wood and coal beds come in contact with the ware and there are no walls or baffles that restrict the ash flow through the kiln. Coloration is determined by, but not limited to, the following variables: Clay body composition, placement in the kiln chamber, duration of the firing, atmosphere and velocity in the kiln, temperature in the kiln, (Which can vary in different zones), and the optional use of applied glaze.

These pieces exemplify the unique result from flame weaving through more than eight hundred stacked pots and the ash from eight to ten cords of mixed hard and soft wood that settles and melts on the unglazed surface of the clay pot.

Over the course of five days, a group of students from the Anagama class face physical challenges to insure the kiln reaches 2400 F. The firing itself comes after months of preparation in the studio making work and with a chainsaw and splitter preparing the wood. Unloading day is a glorious event with never a student disappointed with the work and the experience shared among this assembled community of potters.

Stoking the fire

Stoking the fire

Looking into the kiln during firing

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Interior after firing

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Checking the fire, day 4

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The chimney during firing

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Finished Jar, Julie Devers

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