TOM HARTLEY'S KILN IN SANDFLY, TASMANIA, Australia

This kiln is used primarily for terracotta sculptures, 3D garden tiles and 3D wall tiles

The kiln has been built into the very clayey hillside behind the house at Sandfly, Tasmania. It has a 60cm cubed chamber for the pots and the fire box is 60 X 60 by 75cm deep. The chimney is over a metre of heavy cast iron pipe. The grate is made from two broken pieces of cast iron drain cover. The walls of the firebox and the top to the chamber are made out of 4 parts of the clay soil with 1 part normal cement - a recipe derived from an application note from the cement manufacture for what they call 'cement stabilised earth'. It appears to be very heat tolerant. The pottery pieces can be loaded in through either the 60 X 30 cm aperture in the front or lowered in from the top after first lifting the slab of cement off that forms the roof. The side and rear walls of the chamber are the native clay and have now fired 'in situ' to a beautiful salmon pink terracotta colour. Some crumbling has occurred but is easily repaired between firings with plugs of more local clay. It can easily be fired up in a day - start at 9am - stop loading fuel at 4pm ! Very civilised.

Click here to see the kiln closed up

Click here to see the kiln open ready for loading

Click here to see the results of early terracotta work - only the chess pieces were wood fired - the rest were done in an electric kiln at the Adult Education Studios, The Domain, Hobart. This is a big picture and takes a little while to download !

Click here to see an early prototype terracota tile - the Kanji symbol for South

Click here to see various tiles also on the Kanji Character Theme

Click here to see Tom with the various tiles he displayed at the 2001 Hobart Potter's Club Annual Show.


Tom Hartley
10 December 2001