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Building Your Own Kiln: Three Japanese Potters Give Step-by-step Instructions Paperback – 27 Jan 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha International Ltd (27 Jan. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 477002973X
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770029737
  • Product Dimensions: 25.9 x 1.5 x 18.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,951,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

HIROMI ITABASHI is best known for his abstract ceramic sculptures. Itabashi's apprenticeship began with participation in archaeological digs on traditional pottery sites in Korea. After studying local traditions in Gifu Prefecture, he joined the studio of master potter Keiji Ito. He opened his own potter studio in Mitaka, Tokyo, in 1980 and began teaching at Tama Arts University in 1999. He has taught and exhibited widely overseas, and received numerous awards in Japan and internationally. ROPPO TAMURA began his training in the late 1970s as an abstract painter in oils, but he gradually turned his attention to sculpture and finally to the creation of ceramic objets. He built his first kiln, a noborigama, or multi-chambered climbing kiln, in Nagano Prefecture in 1982, where he was studying pottery under the direction of potter friends. In 1985 he built a single-chambered anagama kiln, which, though smaller, he realized was better suited to his needs. At this time he was still experimenting with various different types of pottery-creating plain and undecorated functional ware and objets that made use of natural ash glaze, and also artificially glazed Shino ware. He moved to Yamanashi Prefecture in 1991. NAOKI KAWABUCHI began making pottery in 1974 and has gained an international reputation for the originality and creativity of his undecorated stoneware, and in particular for his ware done in the Nanban style. His work in the Iga and Shigaraki traditions is also highly regarded. In one of his individual shows, Kawabuchi exhibited an astonishing 10,000 individual tea bowls. Apart from a year spent studying earthenware firing techniques with a master potter, he is largely self-taught.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Illustrates 3 different possible solutions for building a kiln. It covers different needs and everything is carefully explained.
very interesting
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great kiln book. 29 Nov. 2014
By Debra L. Cicchella - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nice book. I want to build my own kiln, and this has great suggestions.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 31 Mar. 2015
By james yared gaite - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very nice!
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More specifics on firing would have been helpful 18 Oct. 2010
By Rose Marie O'Neill - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have always wanted to take complete responsibility for my work, and constructing a kiln to fire myself seemed like a logical next step. The small kiln described was easy enough to build, and that experience alone was helpful. Most valuable lesson was manually monitoring a firing cycle, if I had just been able to flip a switch and walk away, I would have learned nothing.
There are some pitfalls to using slotted metal as the frame for the kiln, as squaring the structure becomes difficult if your holes don't line up perfectly. Better material would be straight iron stock with welded square stock that threaded rod could be passed through for a really tight fit.
The major criticism I have is the lack of information provided on firing, so this is not for potters unfamiliar with gas firing theory. The burner described is generic, and the use of only a pyrometer to determine whether temperature has been reached is ill advised. The plans do not allow for peep holes, and no measure of heat work without cones has you guessing at the end of the firing. Highly recommend running a load of test pots, not stacked too tightly, with cone packs in front, back and middle to determine where temperature variances are.
Pictures of stack show shelves tight up against sides and burner/flue end, and this does not provide a lot of heat distribution, so I'm still working on shelf size variations to see if I can get to Cone 9/10 in 5 hours. Would not reccomend placing a shelf directly on the bricks as shown. There is room for posts in the design, placing shelf directly on brick cracked the shelf at high temp on the second firing.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very easy to use 13 Jan. 2011
By B.W. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a great reference to not only build several types of kilns but also to help you decide which one you want to build. Easy to follow and well illustrated for ease of use. The only negative and it is very minor is that some of the black and white photos are a little washed out but this in no way affects the ability for one to understand what they need to do.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One major problem 17 Mar. 2008
By Robert McCann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
My property is dotted with firing pits, raku kilns and various "seat of the pants" fiber and fire brick kilns. I decided to follow the excellent instructions for Hiromi Itabashi's small gas kiln. I have purchased all the material exactly as specified but one; The "stacking shelves". He has specific dimensions of 13"x17.7", and in the photo they look more like refractory board than a kiln shelf. I have been unable to locate any kind of kiln shelf in these dimensions. I wonder if they are specific to Japan. It looks to me like these specific dimensions are necessary to proper heat distribution. In any case this makes the kiln he presents useless.
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