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In early October 2011 I dismantled the old anagama kiln at Loughborough University School of the Arts. I'd been firing this kiln for 10 years but was given the opportunity to build a larger kiln which would give more zones to explore.

Below is a photographic synopsis of the new kiln's construction. It was built over the winter which although cold, was for the most part dry, and apart from a couple of weeks when snow and ice made it impossible to work on the kiln progress was steady with the kiln being completed early April 2012. The first of hopefullymany firings took place in May 2012.

Please scroll down to see construction images with description. Click top to return to the top of this page.
A rough outline of both the steps and the curve of the side walls was first marked out. This allowed me to experiment with several different configurations.

Once a layout had been decided all the dense concrete hollow blocks were bedded in sand to create a flat foundation.

The first floor of 42%Alu bricks was then layed.

The side walls were then laid. 2x stretcher courses:1 x header. All bricks were bedded in a fireclay/sand mortar with a little sodium silicate added for ease of spreading. (See recipe section of site). This is a non bonding mortar and allows the structure to breath.
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Detail of the exit flue and chimney base construction and the front arch.
An initials former was then constructed out of 3mm MDF lathe. (with hindsight this was not the best material to use at it absorbs moisture and softens. It is much cheaper than ply which is what I used on the first kiln but it's worth spending the extra on ply for the extra stability it provides).This was woven to the desired shape for the arch and then secured.
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Internal formers were then cut out of chip board to support the initial form, also additional exterior boards were placed over the former to support laying bricks.
The hot face arch could then be laid: rows of brick were laid until they met in the middle of the kiln and keyed. The front and the rear brick work was then extended out from this.
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Once this was completed, the seconary arch was laid in the same way.
The insulation layer was added; a mix of sand, perlite, cotton fibres, lime and fireclay, to roughly 6". The chimney was also built up.

Finally the grate and second floor layer of 42%Alumina bricks were then laid.

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