artStar Pottery - San Angelo Wood Kiln


In 2006, while visiting the Tweety Ranch near Knickerbocker, Texas, Logan and I noticed a series of wood piles from a county sponsored brush clearing project. We thought, "Wouldn't it be neat to build a kiln right next to that great source of wood?"

After kicking around the idea for a while, we actually decided to build the kiln. Later that year, we took a workshop with Randy Brodnax at the Sunset Canyon Pottery, where a couple of wood kilns were built and fired. We liked his "quick fire" wood kiln design and adopted it for our project.

It took a few years, a few loads of materials, and several trips. In October of 2008, we completed building the kiln (next to a great brush pile) in one afternoon. We returned in November for the first firing. Some pictures below...

Over that winter, a West Texas wind storm blew down the chimney.

It took a while to regroup. In August 2010, we returned to rebuild. Our plan was to follow standard archaeological procedure: Liberate, Stabilize, Restore. Then add an angle iron frame and a vault over the ware chamber. We found that few of the original soft fire brick were fit for reuse. However, we had enough new material to complete our goals.

The plan is to add a chimney for the next firing. The saga will continue.

2008 Firing:

2010 Restoration:

Welding thanks to Richard Ramirez.

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Last update: August 2010
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