Espace Céramique Jacques-Jeanneney
Association de Sauvegarde du Patrimoine Potier de Puisaye


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The large kiln

Pots are stacked alternately without and with shelves (70cmx70cm) to increase stability



The large kiln of the pottery is 100 m3 !

This kiln has been built in the XIXth (probably around 1850) and rebuilt at some point. We can see inside that there is a different construction "style" between the firebox and the main vault. Between 1850 and 1870 these kilns were periodically rebuilt to increase the volume, because of the increasing market in France for the big preservation jars. This kiln is one of the biggest of the area, and definitely the biggest to have been fired (October 2003 after 2 years of restoration) ! It is a shame that many of the local kilns have been destroyed after they stopped firing in the 1950s...

The one-chamber kiln is typical of Saint-Amand area and similar to the kilns of La Borne (Cher). However in Saint-Amand they were bigger because of different market specialization, they had to fire a lot of bigger pots. The general shape is like half a shell, lying down with the point on the left by the firebox. You could also say it looks like an "anagama" kiln with the narrow end is in the opposite direction !

At the back (the base of the shell) the wall has a number of holes for evacuating the exhaust gases, and the door through which the kiln is loaded (on the right on the drawing). Sometimes a chimney was built behind the evacuation wall to improve the thermal efficiency, which was done for the 2003 firing.

The maximum heighth inside is about 3 meters, so the men on the picture are quite to the scale. Big pots are loaded one on top of the other, in piles of up to four pots (75kg each !) Small pitchers or planters can pile up by 20 or more... Very good loading experience is required !

Last firing lasted 15 days and used 120 m3 of wood !

Of course, we have a plan to fire it again... sometime... So if you are excited to fire a huge beast like that, you can contact us, we will keep you informed of the project !


The firebox of the big kiln (Photo : Yaka le potier)




  © 2004 Asppp