this is the last step before starting the fire. the kiln has been carefully loaded, each pot in a spot where it has the best opportunity for the desired amount of salt and heat. now to seal it up.
wood kilns do not have a door. they have an opening, and it must be closed with brick and mortar. there is a lot of measuring, cutting shim pieces, and using the level to make sure it all fits tightly.
next comes the layers of mud and newspaper, which must cover all the gaps from the top of the kiln to the bottom. several layers.
next comes another layer of brick, but these are soft bricks, and can be sanded or cut to fit the door shape. after that, one more sloshing of mud and layers of newspaper over the top for good measure. 9 hours later, the work is finished, and the kiln ready to be lit….
photographs and words by rebecca wood