What is a Train Kiln?
The original design for the train kiln comes from John Neely, Professor of Ceramics at Utah State University. It gets it name from how the firebox (the fuel center for the kiln) and chimney are purposely constructed at the either end of the kiln and resembles a train engine. The firing results of a train kiln are meant to mimic an anagama kiln, but is much easier to fire.
What is Wood Firing?
Wood firing is one of the oldest processes to fire ceramics. Wood is used as the source of fuel to climb in temperature. Up until now CBTB has been using electricity to fire ceramic ware. The kiln gets SO hot (about 2350 degrees F) that the wood ash from the wood actually becomes the glaze on the pottery/ceramic ware! The kiln must be loaded for one day, fired for two days, and then cooled for up to a week. Then it's ready to unload all of your beautiful work! CBTB is doing our part to maintain the natural forests of Nor Cal and will be sourcing wood from sustainable sources (end cuts from wood suppliers, cabinet makers, etc.). All wood-fired work is dishwasher, microwave, & food safe.
What is Pit Firing?
Pit firing is the oldest method for firing ceramics, dating back nearly 30,000 years ago. First, a hole is dug in the ground and pots are placed in the pit with layers of organic matter, combustibles, and other additives and burned. The burning wood creates an atmosphere where smoke and vapor swirl around the pieces in the pit, creating surfaces that cannot be recreated. Pit fired pottery is for decoration only and not food-safe.
What is Raku Firing?
Raku is a low-firing process that is inspired by traditional Japanese style of firing. Pots are heated up rapidly and removed from the kiln while at a bright red heat. The glowing pots are then placed into metal containers with combustible organic materials. Once the pots come in contact with the containers, the materials instantly ignite and the containers are sealed. This creates an atmosphere which reduces the amount of oxygen within the container, creating totally unique pots that have flashes of bright colors and a crackling effect. What's FANTASTIC about this process is that you can have a piece of bisque fired pottery come out of a glaze firing in just under 2 hours! Raku fired ceramics are for decoration only and not food-safe.
Master kiln builder, one of the two kiln designers that actually designed the first wood fired train kiln, Ted Neal, will be leading a workshop to talk about the design, techniques, processes, and the art of how to build a train kiln. During this 7-day Workshop participants will work alongside Ted Neal in the development and building of the kiln. Housing for the week is included in the workshop package along with three group dinners and lunches each day. Students enrolled in this workshop will be invited to bring pieces in for the inaugural firing of the CBTB Train Kiln in December.
What's included in the Train Kiln Building Retreat?
Join us for a packed weekend with a community wood firing, picnics, and beautiful farm-to-table dinner and festivities out in the lush rolling hills of Occidental, CA! The third day of the workshop will take place the following weekend to unload the kiln.
Workshop participants are encouraged to return the following Saturday to partake in the kiln unloading and grand reveal of all the finished pieces.
What's included in the 3-Day Multi-Weekend Wood Fire Retreat?
Join us for a packed weekend with a community raku & pit firing, picnic, a beautiful farm-to-table dinner and festivities out in the lush rolling hills of Occidental, CA!
*** Please note that Raku and Pit Fired fired pots are never fully vitrified, making them not food-safe.
In this 12-Week Class held at Clay By The Bay SF, students will learn the nuances of throwing and building pots, textures, and surfaces for ceramic wood firing! Over the course of this 12-week advanced course, you’ll study:
What's included in the 12-Week ?