Kiln Work

Anglo Saxon Clamp Kiln

In April 2009 as part of their studies of Anglo Saxon England Ricky ran a project with the Children in year 3. This was a mix of local history involving excavating the land near the site of a former farm house and making tiles from clay dug on site. The patterns on the tiles were modelled on Anglo Saxon and medieval encaustic patterns. When these had dried out an area in the woodland beside the school was chosen to dig a shallow pit. Saw dust and wood was then added to the pit and the dried tiles carefully placed on top. These were covered with old broken pottery shards to protect them from heat shock. More fuel was then added and  the final mound covered in turf. A fire was started in one side and allowed to slowly catch. When the fire died down the children were then able to sift through the ashes and find their tiles.

Year 4 Roman Pottery Kiln, Rhodes Avenue Primary School,

As a finale to year 4’s project on Roman Britain, Ricky built and fired a Roman kiln in an area of woodland adjoining the school. Children helped to dig a keyhole shaped trench about a foot deep. They then lined the walls of the trench with bricks soft clay. The gaps were backfilled with soil. Fire bricks from an old kiln were placed on sand on the floor. Kiln props were used to support pieces of kiln shelf. This acted as a buffer between the pots and the flames. The walls were built higher to make an enclosure with clay used as a mortar between the joints. The children had made Roman styled pots which they then placed on kiln shelves in the fire chamber. An old clay pipe, discovered nearby formed an improvised chimney.
With children’s assistance, the fire was stoked for 8 hours with the temperature inside reaching 850c. It was a great success as you can see from the pictures!