"The Salty Dog" is a wood fired "noborigama" pottery kiln being built in Detroit's "North End" from rescued bricks of an old salt kiln
"The Salty Dog" is a two chambered wood fired pottery kiln or "noborigama", being built from the rescued and relocated bricks of the College for Creative Studies' (an art school in midtown Detroit) old salt kiln, and restacked here in Detroit's "North End" neighborhood at "Fortress Studios" (an artist owned and operated studio/living space).
You can follow along with "The Salty Dogs" construction at www.detroitnoborigama.tumblr.com
You see, last summer the College for Creative Studies' Ceramic Department moved, leaving their old salt kiln, like so many other beautiful brick structures in Detroit, to be bulldozed and thrown away. This was a tragedy that I (Henry Crissman) and the many others who have made this project possible, agreed just could not happen. The potential of these bricks to impact many more people from a more accessible standpoint outside of institutional walls, possibly as profoundly as they had affected us, seemed way too great. So, appropriate papers were signed and stamped and the kiln was now mine and thus “The Salty Dog” project began. The old kiln was deconstructed and moved to it’s new home, but the construction of a kiln is not as simple as just beginning to stack the bricks, there are many steps and tools required along the way and they are often very time consuming, physically difficult and costly. Thus far we’ve dug and pored the foundation, built part of the roof, finally were laying the bricks, and now I’m out of money.
“The Salty Dog's” wise and cultured bricks, paired with the communal, laborious, and romantic aspects of the the wood fired ceramic process will be an amazing thing for our neighborhood to have. From the wood that needs collecting and the many hours of outdoor working to the general public's cooperation and involvement, the kiln's impact will be far beyond the boundaries of our fence. We're working to connect with our community arts programs involving the youth with this awesome process and the potential for them to help fire and fill the kiln is underway. Many kids stop by almost every day, full of excitement and questions, asking to help in what ever ways they can.
Luckily, by far the most expensive and unique aspect of the project (the salty bricks) were donated to us, and without them there would be not project at all, and we're going to run out of them. Plus, many of the other aspects of the project are quite costly, and there are still many more purchases that need to be made so we can make this thing happen, Including.....
-Everything for the roof extension that will cover the 2+ cords of wood required to fire the kiln (3 more telephone poles, many 2x4’s and 2x8’s, and the corrugated steel to cover it all.
-The lumber for the shelves that will hold pots and tools, the shelves will encompass some the space under the new roof extension
-The likely additional or different bricks required to finish the domes and the chimney
-A chain saw and wood splitter required to manage the wood that must be finely split for quality combustion
-The metal for the reinforcement frame that will help hold the kiln together upon its completion and for the fabrication of the fire management tools
-The expensive high quality mortar we plan to use for the two domes (we can't afford to have the domes collapse)
-A new diamond segmented masonry blade, as we’re destine to ruin the one we have
-The castable refractory that will insulate over the front arch and the two domes, it will also be pored to make the key brick of each dome
-Firing safety equipment (several pairs of expensive gloves)
-And, other materials for firing and and the rest of the ceramic process that are far too numerous and individually specific to bother listing.
We will only be able to make these purchases to prolong and progress the possibilities of this project with your support, and your generosity will be rewarded by awesome ceramic incentives fired in the "The Salty Dog" herself! So, please help Detroit grow in the right direction, and thank you soooo much!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $1,400 goal
seconds to go
Jul 8, 2011 - Aug 31, 2011
Pledge $1 or more
In an effort to express how thankful we are for your donation and how impossible this would be without you, everyone who pledges any dollar amount will have their name burned into the flattened side of one of the telephone poles that support the roof over the kiln.
Pledge $5 or more
I will send you a 2.5x2.5 inch hangable art tile wood fired and ash glazed in the first chamber of the first firing of the "The Salty Dog"! It may be minimalist or intricately carved, brightly colored or earth toned, what you get will be a toss up, but they will all be totally individual and totally awesome.
Pledge $20 or more
I will send you a 5x5 inch hangable art tile wood fired and salt glazed in the second chamber of the first firing of "The Salty Dog" made and signed by a Detroit artist! Each tile will show the evidence of the unique atmosphere created inside of the kiln, drips of melted ash and vaporized salt will caress the surface of you tile.
Pledge $50 or more
I (Henry Crissman) for your generous donation will send you the most wonderfully funky and functional tea/coffee cup I can manage to make for you. It will be fired in either the first or second chamber of "The Salty Dog" in it's first firing, depending on where ever it needs to be. Different glazes and slips prefer different atmospheres and temperatures within the kiln, and when the right thing is in the right place it really shows. You can see my artwork at www.HenryCrissman.com
Pledge $100 or more
I (Henry Crissman) for your very generous donation will send you a tall elegant and delicate porcelain vase that will be fired in either the top of the first or second chamber in the first firing of "The Salty Dog"! Some will be glazed entirely by the melted wood ash in the first chamber of the kiln at 2500 degrees and others will be heavily salted in the second, they all will be outstandingly beautiful, I hope! :) You can see my artwork at www.HenryCrissman.com