|Morning light on the hilltop kiln site|
You read the title correctly: 90 feet! The kiln here in Pottersville is approximately 90 feet long. The ware chamber is 9 1/2 feet wide and an estimation of the interior height is no more than 4 1/2 feet. There appears to be a slight rise from the firing chamber to the chimney, but I have not looked at the elevations yet to compare them. If you think about it though, the dimensions would not leave a lot of room but for about 400-600 pots, and if many of them were large-capacity storage jars and jugs, the number may have been a lot less. With four documented potters working at this site, producing daily, I think they could have filled and fired the kiln once or twice a month easily.
|At the front of the kiln there are approximately six course of brick supporting the side walls|
|The base wall rises only several feet before the large arch bricks begin|
|The arch bricks are not red clay brick, and measure approximately 8 1/2 inches square and 3 1/2 inches thick|
Here is where I need some input: Has anyone come across really long tunnel-style kilns (groundhog-like) in Gemany or France? While I realize that right off the bat the first thing which comes to mind is an Asian design, I am keeping in mind Terry Zug's (Turners and Burners) comparison of the groundhog-style kiln to the Cassel kilns in Germany and the Newcastle kilns of England, but I do not know whether the lengths of those types of kilns have ever been recorded at 90 feet! I am also looking at the prospect of kilns used for firing brick which may have been used for pottery, or could have been used for pottery. There are numerous designs patented in Germany and England from the mid-19th-century for tunnel kilns used to fire bricks which are quite large.
|This is a rim or neck and shoulder of a vessel with a large piece of wadding, or possibly crumbled arch brick|
|Interior of vessel piece as shown in previous photo|
|Many of these pieces show the profile of what appears to be a base of a vessel and some fingerprints from handling|