Eeles Family Kilns Page

The largest  kiln we use is the three chambered wood fired oriental type dragon kiln. We built this kiln in 1976. It takes about 4,000 pots to fill this kiln, and is the reason we only fire it once a year. Each chamber is approximately 175 cubic feet in packing capacity, the whole kiln is approximately 500 cubic feet. It takes about 36 to 40 hours to fire to the temperature of 1250 degrees centigrade. We use about 6 tons of wood as fuel per firing. The wood is off cuts of pine it comes in 6 foot bundles which we cut in half with a chain saw, then sort and stack for a year to completely dry before it can be used. Wood is a cheap source of fuel, but very labour intensive to use.

This is a drawing of the three chambered climbing kiln at Eeles pottery

The reason we go to the trouble of firing with wood are the effects we get from the kiln. From the six tons of wood it takes to fire we are left with less than 10 KG of ash. All the potassium, sodium and other elements within the wood are released by the flames and land on the pots, creating a natural glaze flashing.  Changing the otherwise grayish clay into a golden brown, and enhancing the glaze quality. 
The pots remain in the kiln for up to four days to cool. We then take about a week to unpack the whole kiln, washing each pot in water to clean off the alumina that prevents the pots from sticking to the kiln shelves during the firing.

Above is a side view of the wood kiln, with the wood already on the firebox for the next firing. 

Below is a view of the wood storage with about enough  wood for half a firing