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  1. Marcia: Thank you for your prompt response. You're right I failed to mention those things, and quite likely others. As I've been researching this most of the day I've tried to edit my posting to address those. A picture is worth a 1000 words. The entire kiln will be build on a concrete slab and the moisture barrier of cinder blocks to raise it off the ground. The "Firebox" part of the affair will be wire frame 3" mesh about 6" deep Maybe a little deeper. The flat bottom will have one layer of wool as well as a cast floor of refractory cement1.5' thick. The sides of the box I'll double the wool with plenty of overlap sewn together with tungsten wire (6000deg). Propane will be the fire source with a weed burner type torch with a flame control knob. I think the one I have is rated up to 200,000 BTU but I can get one rated to 500,000 BTU. Some control of temp can be achieved by moving the burner closer or farther from the fire port. Pyrometric cones will be used in abundance to help me control the temp until I can get a GOOD pyrometer. As for capacity...The arch I want to construct will be about 4' high, 3' front to back and 3' wide in the fire box. Even with double layering of the wool I think this will come to about 15 cubic feet...maybe less. Not really a big consideration as I'm doing this for myself so to speak, I want to see just what I can do with clay of all kinds.I can always make the arch wider at the top, but 3' wide and 3' front to back is about as big as I think I want for the fire box. Now to what I'm trying to accomplish. This is harder to explain. As I stated. I am entirely new to ceramics. I've done some serious reading on the web as well as some good books I've bought. What I have done so far is to turn one of my bedrooms into a studio (of sorts). The kiln will be setup in my backyard. What I want it to do is have a wide enough range to do raku work some times and Stoneware and Porcelain at others. I know that it would be best if I could build a brick kiln with a magic door which would open and close quickly but I am constrained by economics. So...When I do porcelain that is all that will be fired nothing else. Raku firings will be a day dedicated to raku and nothing else. I am also aware that this is a tall order using the materials I am confined to using but such is as it is.
  2. Hi All: My name is R'Lee and I'm an absolute beginner at working with clay. After a long career as a neerdowell, I've retired and decided to turn my talents to clay, as I've always been pretty good with my hands as well as somewhat artistic. I found the above raku kiln plans at http://www.brackers.com/kilns/bracker I want to build something about half again as large as this kiln. I'm thinking an 3" wire mesh frame Arch design lined with a double layer of wool, top and sides . The bottom being a 3" wire mesh box deep enough to accommodate the burner. 2 layers of wool on the sides of this box and 1 layer will line the bottom, then a floor made of refractory cement 1.5" thick. 1 kiln shelf elevated above the floor on 4 refractory cement bricks. This bottom box will comprise the fire box which will be propane fired. So...I recently bought a 50' (2x25x1.5) roll of 2300 Deg. Kaowool #8 and some refractory cement rated to 2200 deg. A couple of questions I have are as follows. 1. I found the plans on the web for this raku kiln but I don't want to be limited to just raku. I want to do stoneware as well as porcelain. The plans for the above kiln call for one layer of wool. As the blanket I bought is rated at 2300 deg, I'm wondering...if I double the thickness will this increase the temperature I can take the kiln to? 2. If I can increase the temp by double layering the wool, will it also increase the amount of time it can be held at higher temperatures? 3. How long can I expect the wool to last? (Like how many firings will it take before it looses it's thermal barrier ability's...(give or take?)) 4. My plan is to build as carefully as I can (seems like a simple enough plan) with overlapping seams ONLY where absolutely necessary, but I am concerned about heat leakage as I've only a small space to work in ( concrete slab backyard about 25' x 15') and I have a wooden fence. Don't want to burn the place down... So there you have it. Any input will be deeply appreciated. R'
  3. I've seen a few videos where various organic materials were used in the firing of pots. Banana skins as an example. I'm wondering if there are any such organics which are used as main colorant components for glazes.

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