Sunday, December 14, 2008

Homemade Sawdust Kiln

I am so excited!
My husband and I went out to our farm last weekend and gathered up rocks and sticks and built a sawdust kiln. First we made a big circle out of rocks built up like we were building a wall. Next came the stinky part. We took out the wheelbarrow and got a load of cow manure....there is definitely no shortage of that on our farm! It actually wasn't very stinky, it was all well aged and most of it had almost completed the process of turning back into dirt! We took all the cow manure and piled it up around the outside of the rock wall we had made to insulate it.
This weekend we went out with our un-bisqued clay pieces and loaded them in the "kiln".
We used a mixture of fine and coarse sawdust and dried shredded leaves and loaded the kiln. Then we piled our sticks on top. Now it was time for the fire!
Not as exciting as it sounds, really not even as big as a campfire. Once our sticks had burnt down level with the rock top of the kiln we put tin over it and let it smolder. We went home and came back this afternoon, still very hot and smoky; but we unloaded it anyway.
All of the pieces were a beautiful deep black from being in the fine sawdust!
So exciting. I came home and burnished them with some wax. Beautiful!
I will post some pics later, when I get some good ones taken.

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