Hello everyone! The countdown for the thesis continues, and since things at the studio are partially in kilns currently being fired, I thought I'd give an update on the Liz Berry Kiln. It's been a long process, but we're making some great progress under the direction and coordination of Diana Berry! The second chapter is being written and we're rebuilding this piece of Fairbanks history at the Fairbanks Folk School.
And so the rebuild begins! The kiln's design is based on the original plans (and the wood kiln plans found in Fred Olsen's "The Kiln Book") with a few modifications. Most of the bricks that we're using have been generously donated by local fellow potters--so we have some 3.5" soft brick and some 4" soft brick, hence calculating and thinking on our feet to ensure true structure for the body! True to the model, a concrete foundation was poured, a layer of cinderblock laid out (to elevate the fireboxes so we don't have to crouch down to stoke--save our backs!), a layer of insulating brick between the cinderblock and firebox, the floor of the kiln (which are two kiln shelves and the last thing we put in), the body of the kiln, and the chimney. The firebox and chimney will be built using hard brick, the body out of the soft brick.
Since these photos have been taken, the chimney has been completed and a few minor adjustments have been made. We're in the process of affixing together soft bricks for the door of the kiln. The Folk School held a "Pinch Pot and Pizza" party to get community members involved with the school and this exciting kiln! A huge thank you to Diana for all the hard work and effort she's put in to re-building a part of her family legacy and sharing the passion for the wood fire process with the community! The first firing is planned for mid-November, stay tuned or sign up to help out!