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" Woden" - Wood Fired Kiln - The Fifteenth Firing!

This page records the fifteenth firing of the Woden kiln in December 2015.

No changes had been made structurally to the kiln before this firing.

The firing was full of pots made by Bill Crumbleholme and his pottery class students.

The weather was a bit stormy, with a SW wind and occassional rain showers and mist.

Menu for sections on this Page:-

Making Pots

Loading Pots

Firing Kiln

Unloading Pots


Making Pots - 2015


All in a day's work!


60 odd beakers, just thrown

bowls thrown

A collection of bowls, just thrown.


Plates thrown on batts.


A jar - thrown in two pieces, one upside down, then joined and the top opened out.

Loading Pots 2015

back loaded

Back of kiln loaded with an assortment of pottery.

front loaded

The lower part of the front

Ready to brick up the door







Firing Kiln - 2015


An early winter solstice morning shot of the kiln - the sun does not shine mysteriously through any portal!

The firebox beginning to heat up, after a night's gentle warming.

Richard caught in the act of stoking by Steve

A shot through the spyhole of the cones, bending to show the kiln chamber is now hot enough for the glazes to melt.

The digital reading that says it is all over - except a bit of "soaking" at that temparture to mature the glazes.

The thermocouples are not properly calibrated for the thermometer, so the reading of 1230 means the kiln is actually nearer 1280C

The kiln at the end of the stoking.

The last full load of wood is left to burn away - it creates a build up of pressure in the chamber, so flames escape through the gaps in the brickwork, because they are not sucked out quickly enough by the chimney. Then the wood burns in oxidation and the glazes are cleaned up.

After the temperature drops to about 1150C the kiln is clamped up and left to cool.

Unloading Pots - 2015


Un-bricked - ready to unload

Lower front fired

Note cones!
Far left middle melted flat, near incoming flames.

Top right - just about exactly as needed, these are the ones we see and check out through the spyhole during firing.

Bottom right - still upright, showing cold spot in kiln away from where flames come in. The pots in this area showed imature glaze, still gritty matt.

Back section fired

Almost finished unloading!

Lottie happy to see the last pot out of the kiln!

Beakers and bowls.

The beakers have a new glaze, made from the wood ash collected from the fireboxes after the previous firing - mixed with some clay slip, dug locally from foundations of a house, plus some soda feldspar. The glaze is very dark because of the high iron content - from the clay and also all the pallet nails!

The bowls are glazed with Bath Potters' Supplies "Shiny White" which picks up the ash speckle very well.

Bill with Caroline's sculpture, an original willow weaving was coated with layers of clay slip (with added paper tissue), biscuit fired and then subjected to this firing with no glaze - the reduction has turned the piece dark.

A collection of pots made by pottery class students.

More classy pottery!

There were a few breakages, like this mortaria which opened up - in the hottest part of the kiln chamber.

Jennie waiting to see her giant egg.

Jennie - proud of her egg!

A nice toasted effect on the top.

Jill's bowl, showing a flow of glaze into the base.

Peter's pots

Bill's plates came out OK, but several were broken in transit. There is a demand for these!

Richard receiving one of this vases.

Bill's vase, fired on its side so it has some interesting shell marks.

Report and Conclusions

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A good firing. But some greater variation in temperature than usual, perhaps due to the windy weather. The cooler places are in the corners away from the firebox entrances.

Some breakages, perhaps due to extreme temperatures, but mainly uneven support or flat pots with too little structural stability.

Generally a good result - well ash laden bowls and good reduction.

The new glazes worked well - using ash from the previous firings and local clays. The clear ash glaze turned greener than electric fired ones, but are still slightly crackled.

Comments are very welcome - email Bill Crumbleholme


Thanks to :-

Richard for stoking and Steve for coaching.

Mayos for hosting us.

Kate for supporting refreshments and taking old pots away!

Bill's family for support and understanding.