I received a couple of e-mails from Chris Drobnock in Pennsylvania, USA. He is a keen young potter with a passion for wood-firing. He made very good points about my kind of Anagama. So I decided to show his emails and also give you his web and blog links here.
I have been interested in ceramics and anagama for about 8 years now and have been making pots and firing wood kilns for that long. I fell in love with clay in 2002 and then went to university to study ceramics and printmaking. I have moved back to the area where my parents are from and have begun to make motions to build an anagama of my own. I have been following your website and blog for some years now and I am very interested in the styles of kilns you build ( the long flame shaped kilns ). I was just going over some of the images to look at your relative dimensions and decided to contact you. I really love the aesthetic of your building style and I have many questions. I hope that it is ok if I contact you in the future to ask your opinion of kiln building and the like.
Many thanks for your e-mail and your interest in Anagama. My apologies for not replying sooner to you.
I quite often receive e-mails with many questions about Anagama building and Kin-Tsugi (gold lacquer restoration) . Although I try to reply to questions individually, it is getting rather difficult for me to answer everyone of them.
I am building my new Raku kiln this winter and then onto another Anagama in the wood early spring. I have a web link to Trevor Youngberg who is going to build his new Anagama in Connecticut around the same time. Instead of replying to Trevor individually, I have decided to add a new category called “Anagamania” to my blog. Trevor also thinks it is a good idea. I will explain the kiln building process with detailed images. Trevor will ask questions which I will answer. This way, we will encourage and help each other.
I hope my blog posts will encourage other potters who may be interested in building Anagama. Moreover, I won’t have to repeat myself over and other again.
Thank you for the quick reply. I understand that you must get many inquires about what you do and I would be glad to follow along for whatever insight you can give. Its just that most kilns that seem to be out there, this goes along with the kiln I saw on Trevor’s site, start with vertical walls and yours do not and neither do Furutani’s examples. I wish to build a kiln that follows the design that has no vertical wall. Also your kilns seem to have a very gradual slope yet many kilns that I have seen are more sloped and fatter, not so flame shaped. Why is it that up until I found your site most kilns that I had seen do not follow the flame shape design, is it just that people do not know any better?
Thank you for your time Gas,
Finally, I have uploaded a few photos to explain where my Anagama ideas came from. It is all personal preference. You can try whatever you fancy with your kiln as long as it works.