Down In The Dungeon…

I got a comment from Andrew Widdis all the way over in Melbourne, Australia asking to see shots of the kiln. The kiln’s not much to see as it sits so quietly amid the visual pandemonium that surrounds it. Before last summer I had everything clay in a little room in the back of my house, kiln included. That’s when I decided to add on to the room which is shown a bit in this post. To make a long story short, I put the kiln in the basement which is where I used to do woodworking although I sold much of my woodworking stuff to create room to put my clay stuff so that I could add on to the studio. When I moved my clay stuff back upstairs into the bigger studio, I left the kiln in the basement and decided I’d have to decide between the tedium of carrying each piece down and up and down and up the stairs to bisque/glaze/glazefire/photograph… and the kiln being in the studio and taking up precious working space. So for now it’s in the basement… but so is everything else.



The wet floor adds to the squalid nature of the basement and is a relatively new problem. The wettest year since I’ve lived in KY (23 years), a new leak that I’m guessing is because the addition’s roof is about 1 foot short of the house’s roof proper and I didn’t think that 1 foot needed it’s own gutter, and of course my recent battle with the clogged plumbing have all combined into a less than hospitable environment to work but I’ve had the doors open for about a week and it’s starting to dry out a bit (crossing my fingers that no critters take up residence). I plan on dealing with these things after these next firings are done but I’ve always lived my life according to the wisdom given to the Arkansas Traveler… (paraphrasing) AT – “Why don’t you fix that leaky roof?” Old Man – “When it’s a rainin’, it’s too wet to fix it and when it’s dry, it’s just as good as any man’s roof.” So we’ll see, add it to the neverending list. So here’s the kiln… no big shakes, although it’s cooling with last night’s bisque in it… finally.


While I was down there taking pics and loading I took some pictures of the kiln while loading…


In the last pic you can see Sofia’s little smiley faced tile peeking out from under the bowl.


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8 Responses to “Down In The Dungeon…”

  1. gary Says:

    I love Sofia’s smiley face!!!!!!!!!!!!
    No doubt the hot heat and air fan for the kiln will hell dry your dungeon….

  2. claytastic Says:

    ah, love to see another basement studio. Gives me ideas. I need to let me husband know it really can work.

  3. Gordo Says:

    I always find it comforting to know that other peoples’ shop areas are similar to the anarchy in mine. 🙂

  4. judy Shreve Says:

    Yes – it’s good to see another’s clay mess! lol! In fact I worry when I see those pictures of ultra-clean studios. Sorry you’re having the water problems though — that’s annoying.

    Is that a Skutt 1027? I think I have the same kiln. Mine has 3-inch bricks.

  5. John Bauman Says:

    I’m amazed at what we potters will go through to make a pot. When I was young I made 3,000 pieces a year out of an 8X16 shed. We get by, don’t we?

    Great looking bowls, by the way.

  6. andrewwiddis Says:

    Thanks, great to see your working space and kiln. Adds so much to the understanding of your work and process. It’s one of those funny American Skutts. I’ve seen a few here (Australia), always jealous of how you can just dis-assemble them. Esp. when the removalists insist on a crane. The last kiln I bought the removalists hired a tow truck (without asking) $1000.00 later…
    Anyway, I digress.
    Thanks for the post.

    • jim Says:

      hi andrew… yes, the kiln unlatches into 2 rings and 1 ring with a bottom. each ring has handy carrying handles and although the bottom is heavy, two people can move it without too much trouble. then, wire it back together. voila. $1000.00… ouch, what a drag.

  7. red dirt girl Says:

    it’s heartening to see that creativity and productivity can come from controlled chaos…… at least that’s what i’m currently trying to ‘self-talk’ myself into ….. a sort of little choo-choo train saying, “I think I can, I think I can …..” !! thanks for the inspiring photos.


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