Kiln Experiment 2 – Selfmade Electric Kiln

February 14th, 2014

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A self made electric kiln experiment.

This experiment – research and explorations of clay firing techniques was done as part of my MArch Architecture second year architecture portfolio.

After making a couple of sawdust firings I used the same fire bricks to make an electric kiln heated by four 750W electric fire elements, which were inexpensively acquired from a spares shop. Due to limited amount of time available the firing was on for 6 hours and peaked at lower than expected 575 degrees celsius in the middle of the kiln, then left to cool overnight. Judging from the fired objects it can be assumed that the temperature closer to the sides of the kiln was much higher – possibility of +100-150 degrees, since each fire element was tested to reach up to 800 degres celsius. The performance of the kiln could be improved by better insulating the kiln.

The temperature rise was controlled by gradually switching on each of the fire elements.

Two pieces with low fire blue glaze started to gain rich blue colour, whilst a piece with red glaze (cone 04 glaze) did not react to the low heat of the kiln. Two of three pieces made from Scarva PF520 clay completely burst into pieces. The last piece was left unglazed and became a cone 022 bisque ware.

The risk assessment was done prior to constructing a kiln in order to ensure a successful operation of the kiln and safe environment.

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