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Building the Kiln

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... and repeat ...

We are now down so low, and the piles of waste around the pit so high, that we have wheelbarrow the dirt out.

Mt. Baker at sunset.

Finally, with the pit dug out, I can begin working on the forms for the cement walls. There was no electricity at the kiln site so here I am cutting by hand. By the time I finished the forms, I had lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow). A small sacrifice to the kiln god I think. It also meant I had to borrow the neighbor's generator so I could use a drill (hammering was excruciating).

Here the forms begin to take shape. Perhaps I should mention that the pit is to be the work area in front of the anagama.

The demarcation line between the easy-digging topsoil and the clay layer is clearly visible here. Despite the difficulty digging, I was glad to have the clay. It would provide a more stable foundation material but most importantly, it could serve as the kiln floor. Originally, anagamas were dug into clay hillsides. I just happened to dig a hillside into the clay.

Tying rebar. I got it stand up straight by inserting it through holes I drilled in sticks. The horizontal pieces were then wired to the vertical ones.

If only I had longer arms. Tieing rebar was rough on my elbow as well. As a side note, both "tying" and "tieing" are correct according to Merriam Webster so I decided to use both!

I think I've fairly well perfected my cult leader image. You are welcome to join my group: EFORF (Everlasting Friends of Reducing Flame). Email me - I will tell you where to send your checks, deeds, and other forms of valuable property. Rob Beishline, ceramics instructor at WCC can teach you about the benefits of joining.

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