Local and Natural Material Usage
The Johanna Kiln is constructed using recycled kiln bricks and bricks from the original root cellar of Saint Joseph Hall, as well as used chimney materials from the Northern States Power Company. Inside the wood kiln, wild rice hulls are utilized for their naturally high silica content. This special hull protects its seed during times of flood, drought, and wildfire.
When used as a loading tool in the Tanegashima chamber to separate unfired pottery (photograph above), this locally-resourced natural material prevents the clay works from fusing together. Additionally, it enables these pieces to be tumble-stacked closely into one another, developing unique ceramic surfaces and maximizing available space and fuel.
The Johanna Kiln is fueled using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood from the 2000-acre Saint John's Abbey forest. Using existing surface carbon avoids contributing to a carbon imbalance in the atmosphere. As an ancient technology, the Johanna Kiln is four times more energy efficient than the studio's modern indoor gas and electric kilns.