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The Kiln Gallery
This part of our site is intended to help provide information and ideas on building your gas-fired reduction kiln. Unlike electric kilns, most gas kilns are self-made, custom designed and built by the artist to meet their personal needs. Commercially made kilns are available; however, are usually too expensive for most individuals and are most often purchased by institutions. Shown below are just a few of the many styles of kilns.

All gas kilns vary in shape but fall into two basic categories; updraft and downdraft. The difference between the two is based on heat transfer. Updraft refers to the heat transfer from the bottom inlet flue to the top exit flue. One example of this is the raku kiln. Downdraft kilns differ by having both inlet and exit flue near the floor of the kiln. Heat is circulated upward then back downward through the ware where it exits up the chimney. This circulation becomes more effective once the chimney has been heated. Another variation of the downdraft is the cross draft. This type of design has both entrance and exit flues on the sides rather than on the front or rear of the kiln.

Click on images for larger details.


Downdraft salt kiln
Linda McFarling's Studio - Burnsville, NC

Hard brick construction with burners
positioned at rear of kiln at chimney.

Detail of burner port.

Kiln has been coated with cement on the exterior to protect
fiber insulation which helps insulate the hard brick. Salting ports shown on sides.

Detail of front door with salting ports on each side.

Bag wall and channel exit flue detail.

This kiln design provides a more
uniform salting for her work.


Cross draft salt kiln with side chimney
Linda McFarling's Studio - Burnsville, NC

Detail of side chimney

Linda's sprayer used for salting.

Detail of rear salt ports, bag wall, and burner ports.

Burners on side opposite from chimney.

work by Linda McFarling in her side draft salt kiln
Detail of Linda's work in her side draft salt kiln. Please note the more
dramatic surface variations achieved with this kiln design.


Cross Draft wood kiln
Pine Root Pottery
Mark Peters' Studio - Bakersville, NC

Side view showing passive dampers for
controlling air flow into fire box.

Rear view showing both a stoking port (upper)
and a port for wood ash removal (lower)

Side view showing chimney with damper.

Front view showing walk-in door.

Interior view showing bag wall.
Exit ports are on left side.

Interior view of exit flues.

Interior view of fire box. Wood is inserted
and ash removed from the left side. Steel rods hold
wood above bed of ash.

Cross draft barrel vault & Downdraft salt kiln
Fork Mountain Pottery
Suze Lindsay & Kent Mclaughlin - Bakersville, NC

Side view of hinged burner supports on downdraft kiln.
These swing out of the way when kiln is not in use.

Rear view of downdraft kiln showing chimney and damper.

Interior view of the cross draft barrel vault design.
Entrance and exit ports are on sides. Kiln brick soaps (bottom right)
have been placed to act as a bag wall.

Detail of portable burner stands on barrel vault kiln.
These are turned out to allow ports to be sealed for slower cooling.
Manual pressure regulators have been installed on each burner.

Sprung Arch Reduction Kilns
Tracey & Catherine Dotson - Penland Community, NC

Chimney detail showing stainless steel exit flue.

Chimney detail showing stainless steel exit flue.

Interior view of sprung arch

Concrete tile board has been used to help secure
brick around chimney. This can be purchase at your local hardware store.

Large reduction kiln with fiber roll-away front door.

Small gas test kiln

Catenary Arch salt kiln
Fort Pottery Co.
Brian Fort - Augusta, Ga

Rear of kiln showing chimney area.

Detail showing burner and port in floor of kiln.
Burner has baso valve installed which shuts gas off if flame gets blown out.

Detail of fiber door which helps insulate kiln.
Kiln has approximately four inches of fiber and castable insulation.

Interior of Catenary

Detail of burner port in floor.

Detail of one of two exit flues located in the floor.
A channel was made under the kiln which is connected to the chimney.
This allows the reduction atmosphere and salt to be drawn back down evenly through ware.


Copyright 2003 Fort Pottery Company. All rights reserved.