Tater Knob Pottery & Farm 

Wood Fired Pottery

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In addition to our electric kilns that we use for most of our pottery, our Wood Fired Kiln, also known as a noborigama kiln, allows us to produce a new style of pottery at Tater Knob.  

All clay has to be heated (fired) to become hard, and wood fired pottery is the oldest method of firing clay.

Our wood-fired kiln is an ancient Japanese design known as a climbing kiln or a noborigama. This type of kiln generally has several chambers going uphill one after another, each pre-heating the next. The Tater Knob kiln has two chambers.

The work fired in this kiln takes  2-3 days of stoking (putting wood in the kiln) in 5-10 minute intervals in order to achieve a maximum temperature of 2400 degrees, making the clay vitrify or harden into a glass.

Wood, when burned, creates ash which floats through the atmosphere of the kiln and falls on the surfaces of the pots. The ash then melts, due to the temperature of the pots, and creates an ash glaze. Pots from the first chamber of the Tater Knob kiln are an example of this traditional wood-fired technique.

The second chamber of our wood-fired kiln has salt added to it during the firing process which creates a slick pitted surface, sometimes referred to as an “orange peel” effect. When added to the chamber, the salt vaporizes and releases sodium in to the kiln atmosphere, which then combines with the hot silica on the surface of the pots, creating its own glaze.

This process creates unique and individual pieces that are each amazing works of art.

Because firing the wood kiln takes days of preparation and 3-4 days of actual firing, Tater Knob only produces pottery this way one or two times a year. 

To see more example, check out our gallery of wood fired pottery here.

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