BUILDING A KILN
When we started our pottery business 35-some years ago, one of the things I needed was a kiln. Not having much money and following in my father’s footsteps in his ability to make pretty much everything necessary for the ranch I grew up on, I decided to build a kiln. I bought the book, “Olson’s Book on Kilns”, and I started designing my kiln. I knew I wanted a down-draft kiln heated by natural gas. I calculated that I would build the kiln to be about 48 cubic feet with 6 Ventura burners. The burners would cost about $130 each, but with the help of my neighbor who was a plumber, I built them for about $20 each. I had to reroof that kiln once, but it worked for 24 years.
When we bought the property on Highway 191 and moved our studio there in 2004, I knew I would need to build a new kiln. Building the traditional arch for the roof is no easy matter. I had read an article on the “Minnesota flat top kiln” and decided that this new design with the new technology of fiber blocks made a lot of sense, so I decided to try it. Because it has functioned so well, I don't think that I would ever build an old style arch top kiln again. This time around, because the Lord has blessed our business and there was more money, I even bought factory made burners. Hopefully, there are another 24 years in this kiln…and in me!
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