Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: kiln firing, lillstreet

Good thing I fired my soda kiln last weekend and unloaded Monday night.
The soda kiln I use was completely demolished on Tuesday!!!
Looks I got out just in the nick of time!!!

Yes, the soda kiln at Lillstreet Art Center was completely torn down yesterday so that they can make a newer & improved version. Everything is gone except for the burner system!!! The current kiln was having some”moving” brick issues… and the arch was pretty much flat and “non-arch-like” towards the end. So now we have a practically empty kiln room… except for the piles of sand, dust & debris.

There are pieces & parts everywhere. Trying to save as many bricks as possible.
As well as the steel framework from the floor… and the side & corner posts.
Might be reused… might just become a souvenir?!

And bricks pretty much stacked up everywhere… in the kiln room, on carts, on shelves…

This will all be cleaned up and a new concrete foundation will be poured. Once that cures, they will start building the new kiln brick by brick. It’s pretty exciting… but a HUGE amount of work. Oh, I remember… I was one of the ones who built the very first soda kiln at the new Lillstreet location along with my friend & potter Emily Murphy. Special thanks to all of the volunteers who are working on this kiln demolition & re-building project!!!



September 4th, 2013

New kiln is always exciting! You are rebuilding from an existing plan? Would you care to share it? I am considering a soda kiln project in the near future and would appreciate whatever you could offer in the way of construction advise/direction. Sorry to say that a personal visit isn’t something that I could consider given the distance. Best wishes!

Stephen Durham

September 4th, 2013

Exciting and exhausting. I hope you post photos of the process to inspire the rest of us.

September 13th, 2013

JIM – The soda kiln at Lillstreet Art Center is being rebuilt under the direction & tutelage of Doug Jeppsen & Neil Estrick. I’m sure they have a specific plan that they are following, but I think it’s currently in their heads. I haven’t seen any real floorplans or schematics to speak of. But then again, I’m trying to stay out of the way so I don’t get roped into the heavy labor. Yes, it is very exciting to get a new kiln… but I’d rather be making pots while someone else is rebuilding the kiln.

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