This past weekend I became the owner of about 900 bricks - soft and hard - that were once a kiln. About 20 years ago, a Falmouth potter and her husband bought a kiln from Chris Gustin when he was teaching at the late Swain School of Design in New Bedford. (The Swain School has been gone for a long time, though its alumni - including my sister-in-law Marcy Dorchester, of Albuquerque - are still making art.) In any case, the potter and her husband parted ways some years ago and the kiln, which was broken down for transport, was never re-built.
I got word Friday from local potter Sarah Caruso that a stack of soft brick was being given away, and my offer to take it away was accepted. After stacking most of the soft brick in the back of my truck, I discovered that, as the owner said, "There are some hard bricks under there, too." An understatement. Turns out the hard bricks, at least 400 of them, had been turned into a dry-laid patio at the side of the house. So, much energy was expended over two days bending down, freeing the bricks from the earth and stacking them in the truck. Sarah was a great help with that, I should add. She's traded me her labor for kiln-space once there is actually a kiln.
Now I'm on the hunt for a plan that will allow me to turn the piles of bricks into a modest wood kiln. Or maybe a soda kiln. Or a salt kiln. ... I think I'm thinking wood, though. Or maybe salt/wood. Oh, I'm also hunting for a place to put the kiln, since we don't have the room here in Hatchville.
There are lots of plans around for kilns and I'm starting to look at some of them. I know some of you have had success with wood. Anyone have any good ideas for me?
The photos: My Tacoma, sagging under the load of about 400 of the hard brick; and the soft brick pile and half the hard brick at the side of the gallery; and signs of spring in the yard.