Noborigama 60, 1992-2007
This 60 cu.ft. kiln was constructed on an existing concrete slab. Since the slab was flat, the inclination of the chambers was accomplished by using cement blocks. There was an unexpected advantage from this design element, as the stoke holes for the salt chamber were at eye level, which made for easy feeding.
Standing Up for Wood Firing
The height of this firebox is at eye level, making stoking easy on the back. It also means the feeder stands below the heat and smoke. "Standing Up for Wood Firing" was an article written by Robert for the International Conference of Wood Fired Potters.
Raking Coals During a Firing
An aspect of this particular kiln was its lack of firebox grates. Coals tended to build up, thus reducing the supply of air. Raking the firebox became a part of the firing cycle in this kiln.
Bryan Mattraw was an apprentice at our pottery for three years. Here he is stoking & salting the second chamber. Salt is being added on an oak slat, thus feeding the fire and creating a sodium infusion.
Building over Noborigama 60
This kiln was originally built without a cover and remained that way for several years. Putting up this structure gave a protected area for wood storage and a space for a Pit Kiln. This modest sized wood kiln served Robert's studio well for fifteen years. It fired easily in about twenty hours, one of the drawbacks was its small size, which prohibited firing large pieces. Robert built his Noborigama 250 cubic foot to solve those issues.
A Winter Blanket of Snow
The wood kiln sleeps during the winter. This quiet time at the pottery gives Robert the opportunity to throw pots for the coming summer. This yearly rhythm allowed for firings to occur in the spring, summer and fall. The first firing usually in June and the last firing in September.