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Paper kiln workshop
This workshop was organised by Steve Carter in July 2008
at the Park Centre.

We based the design on the illustrations in Sebastian Blackie's book Dear Mr Leach... (A&C Black 2004). We rolled sheets of newspaper into straws then plaited them into strings and then plaited them into ropes. We did not have much success joining the rope together so we used string as shown to attach the rope to the kiln

Early firing of the up-draught kiln
Bickley kiln firing


Once the kiln was complete we filled it with greenware made that morning, dried as much as possible and packed with additional paper.

The density of the paper made it quite difficult to light so we lit the packing paper in the kiln. This seemed to work quite well

Simon stoking the kiln
Close-up of flames from fire-box

and aided by the breeze the kiln started to burn quite fiercely. Unfortunately this was accompanied by the sound of cracking and exploding pots, they may not have been as dry as we hoped, bisqued ware would probably have been a bit more resilient

The kiln burned very effectively leaving a pile of ash with some of the pots emerging from the remains. There was some colouration of the clay from the firing but generally the remains were surprisingly clean given the nature of the "fuel"