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Since humans first began to understand how to fire hardened clay, we have been making ceramics, both in pits and in wood kilns. Now, with so many fuel options available to the potter, wood-fired kilns are more of a choice than a necessity. While wood firing isn’t easy, the results are incomparable. The work in wood kilns reveals the story of the firing, with pieces showing ash deposits and the path of the flame through the kiln.

But not all wood kilns are built alike. Some are made for flashing from the flame, some are made for melted rivulets of ash and others still are designed to bury the ware in ash and make it crusty and craggy. Regardless of your wood-firing aesthetic, the wood kiln plans and diagrams in this helpful guide will show you several ways to get started understanding and building wood kilns.

Wood Kiln Firing Techniques and Tips: Plans and Instructions for Making a Wood-fired Kiln and Firing with Wood  includes:

Wood Firing Basics

by Lowell Baker

Each wood kiln has its own firing characteristics, but there are some basic principles that hold true for any kiln using wood as fuel. Getting the basics right means better chances for great results. 

Budget Wood Firing

by Matt Schiemann

Planning a wood firing? Shocked by the price of wood? Check with your local dump, arborists, and cabinet makers to see if they can help out.

Wadding for Wood Firing

by Simon Levin

Wadding is an essential material when firing in a wood kiln. Without it, your pots would be married to the kiln shelves. To Simon Levin, wadding is a mixture of art and science. Here he shares how he uses wadding to great effect in his firings.

The Manabigama

by John Theis

A cross between an anagama and a groundhog-style kiln, the manabigama is a kiln that's within everyone's reach. Small, compact and simple to fire, this kiln can be fired by one person in a matter of hours and not days.

Empirical Learning

by Casey Clark

Stacking shelves and pots inside a kiln is important, but it can be crucial to the success of your firing. In this article, Casey Clark shares what he learned from his kiln stacking disaster.

Guest Potter Tips and Wood-Fire Recipes

by Lisa York

Group firings bring together potters to share in the labor and rewards of the kiln. As a guest, maximize the amount of work you can fit into another artist’s firing with these smart and considerate tips.

Download the free guide right now, and become a better ceramic artist tomorrow. That’s our promise to you from Ceramic Arts Network!

Best regards,

Jennifer Poellot Harnetty
Editor, Ceramic Arts Daily