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The goal of this project is to replace my ailing wood kiln with a kiln fueled by waste vegetable oil.
The goal of this project is to replace my ailing wood kiln with a kiln fueled by waste vegetable oil.
61 backers pledged $4,260 to help bring this project to life.

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$4,260

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Stretch Goal - $4000
I've successfully test fired the oil burners and they work fantastically!  Unfotunately I vastly underestimated the necssary CFM from the air compressor.  I've changed my stretch goal from $3750 to $4000 to compensate for needing to invest in a larger compresor.  The kiln is a reality now so if we can't reach the $4000 that is okay but the compressor will have to take precedence over the other stretch goals. 

I'm so overwhelmed by the support and encouragement I've received so far! Since there are still 22 days to go and the funding is already well over 100% I thought I would add a Stretch Goal to let everyone know where that extra money will go. The base funding covers the cost of a basic 8x10 kiln shed and the materials for the kiln. There are a few things that I had intended to do in the future that would be made possible with this stretch goal: 1) Expand the sides of the kiln shed for weather protection and storage area for kiln furniture and oil storage. 2) Increase capacity of oil storage so I could store enough fuel for multiple firings. 3) A streamlined oil transport system. The oil has to be transferred from 55 gallon barrels to barrels in the back of my truck, then trasferred out and filtered into the final holding barrels. I would like to mechanize this process as much as possible using pumps. This would save a lot of time and strain on the back from bailing all that oil. So that's my stretch goal, I'd love to make these things happen! We're already well on the way there!

The History

I've been woodfiring here in Texas for almost 7 years.  I've always been interested in atmospheric firings since building a salt kiln in college.  I began with building my own gas fired salt kiln 10 years ago and switched to wood/salt about 7 years ago.  The kiln is fired entirely with construction waste headed for the landfill.  My sources for wood have dried up recently as construction has slowed and builders have found other recycling options for their waste.   So I'm looking to make the switch to waste vegetable oil as a fuel.

The Current Kiln and The New Kiln

My wood kiln is fantastic but unfortunately it is aging and needs a complete overhaul.  It was built with a variety of brick salvaged from other kilns, many of the brick have been in at least 3 previous kilns.  My best guess is that approximately 30-50% of the kiln is salvageable and reusable as foundation and backup insulation for a new kiln.  I would really like to use all new materials for the interior of the kiln which will allow for a kiln that can last for years to come.  The new kiln will be about 2/3 the size of the previous kiln, this will allow me to have a quicker turn around on firings. 

Where does the funding go?

The funding for this project is split up as follows: approximately $500 for a new kiln shed, $1000 for brick and refractories, $500 for steel, and $500 for burner components and oil containment.  $2500 is the minimum amount necessary to complete this project.  Funding over this amount will allow for such things as new kiln shelves, a larger kiln shed, or increased oil storage.

What's the timeline?

The goal is to have the new kiln up and functioning by sometime in May or early June.  All of the work coming to you for your pledge will be fired as soon as the kiln is built. 

Do you have any questions or concerns?  Get in touch with me and I'll be happy to answer them. 

Risks and challenges

So, building kilns and a kiln shed sounds like complicated work...what is my skill set to accomplish this?

I've been interested in kiln building and firing theory ever since I first touched clay. I've built 11 kilns to date-3 of which were my own. I teach at a local university where I taught a Kiln Building course 3 years ago, we built a car kiln, salt kiln and a small gas test kiln. I've also consulted on the designs for several kilns. I spent two years in my 20's as a carpenter-primarily framing residential homes. Last year I completed construction on a 500 sq ft studio here on my property. An open kiln shed is a walk in the park to an old hammer swinger like me! I also received my welding certification back in college, so I'm well versed in steel fabrication and welding as well. I have the utmost confidence in my building skills, and you should too!

Do you have any questions or concerns? Get in touch with me and I'll be happy to answer them.

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    Pledge US$ 1 or more About $1.00

    This is an option for contributors outside of the US. You can contribute any amount but since pottery is expensive to ship, please message me first so we can find a reward that is suitable.

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    A $15 pledge will receive a small decorative tile, shipped right to your door!

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    A $35 dollar pledge will receive a beautiful mug, yunomi, or soup bowl (your choice), shipped right to your door.

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    A $50 pledge will receive a beautiful medium sized serving bowl(8-10" wide), shipped right to your door.

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    A $100 pledge will receive 2 dinner plates, shipped right to your door!

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    A $175 pledge will receive a 16" hangable platter, shipped right to your door!

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    A $250 pledge will receive a teapot and 4 cups, shipped right to your door!

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About $1,000

    For a $1000 pledge I will work with you to find a body of work or commission that will suit your needs. This is a sizable donation and I will do whatever I can to make sure that you get the best work possible.

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Funding period

- (30 days)