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So I just got back from firing the soda and the salt kiln at Medalta in Medicine Hat, Alberta. People ask sometimes about using soft brick for atmospheric kilns like this, and we all say “no, that’s not really a good idea, because the sodium eats soft brick.” The doors on the soda and salt kilns at this residency are constructed in a way that a lone potter probably wouldn’t ever do, but these guys had access to one heck of a welder. The metal used for the frames and the sliding doors will be around after the zombie apocalypse, and weighs a ton. Probably literally. So using a more sodium-resistant hard brick in this instance would be wildly impractical due to the weight. What they’ve done instead is put the short end of the soft bricks towards the hot face so the insulation value is maximized, and the door just gets rebuilt when it wears out. The darker bricks are the inside of the salt kiln door, and the greenish ones are the soda kiln. It’s a nice illustration of the difference in colour response between soda and salt, too.
It just occurred to me that we did an experiment with raku a year or so ago with some soft brick that I have since gotten rid of. I didnt have a temperature gauge or anything but do you think that with a big enough tank and enough soft brick to build something conducive for airflow would it reach cone 10 in a few hours? This would allow me to experiment with glazes, build different configurations, reduction and all that kick@%% stuff :-) Tell me good news! Thanks All!! Sebastian