Anagama kiln is the oldest style of kiln in Japan and has been around
since medeval times. The beauty of Anagama
style firing lies in the natural ash glazes that can be
achieved, and in the excitement of the long firing itself, appreciated
by many potters all over the world.
There are many
different designs for the Anagama kiln, not only in
Japan, but on other continents. Not only are there different
designs, but also different methods of firing and stacking.
No two firings are ever exactly alike, in contrast to let's say,
the electric kiln.
The Anagama kiln will usually consist of of one long firing chamber
with a firebox at one end and a flue at the other. Often there will
also be smaller stacking ports on the side of the kiln. Traditional
Ananagama kilns are built on a slope, so that a better updraught
can be achieved. Firing time can vary from one day to several weeks.
While Anagama is an ancient Japanese style, contemporary ceramic
artists such as Peter Voulkos (USA), Chester Nealie (Australia)
or Shiho Kanzaki (Japan) and many other have taken up the art and
are continuing the tradition.
the 'primitive' firing techniques you will find the technique of
This method involves heating a primitive gas-brick kiln to about
1000oC and then adding copiuos amounts of sugar, which then volatilise
and impregnate the clay with carbon, giving it a matt black surface.
Glazes may also be used with this method, which can result in some
interesting effects. Check out this black
firing glaze and some tips and tricks for a successful black
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