Earlier this year I had the pleasure of designing and leading the constructing of a train style wood fired kiln at Mendocino Art Center, in Mendocino, CA. The project began many months ago, staring with the deconstruction of the previous wood kiln. The Mendocino Train Kiln consists of an assembly of features collected from many designs throughout the country, with the core design originating from John Neely at Utah State University.
Modifications were made to accommodate the kiln's location in the middle of a residential neighborhood, with the primary goal being to reduce smoke emissions while increasing the efficiency of combustion in order to consume less wood without sacrificing the natural ash glazes of the final product.
There are many people who assisted in the construction who deserve much recognition for their hard work in helping this project reach its conclusion - Evan Hobart: the current ceramics program manager, ceramics artist in residents, and workshop participants.
The experience has reminded me of the requirement for hard work which lies at the core of this field. I'm happy to see this project in its completion and hope it functions as a great learning tool for the ceramics program and community.