The Tin Man is not just a beloved Wizard of Oz character he is a kiln with two bury boxes (hands) in Portland, definitely not Kansas. Thanks to an active instagram account [tinmansgands] I was just able to witness the most recent Tin Man firing to Cone 11 (mmmm a toasty 1300 degrees celcius is) using two cords of wood, 35 gallons of oil and taking 65 hours of stoking that just wrapped up today. I can’t wait until the crew unloads. Rest assured they will all sleep well from exhaustion and dream on dense diverse glaze services. Waiting for a kiln to cool, especially an atmospheric firing, is a unique endeavour. It is the elation and anxiety felt on a monthly tower service (Mine was today.. Books and food! Books and food!), milestone birthday, a childhood believer’s Christmas morning and good first kiss all compounded, sort of. For what seasoned potter doesn’t know that though there may be a gem this enthusiasm will be curbed with the rest, an appreciation that takes some time and a few inspections to follow. Anyways, all those with no kiln access or simply kiln curiosity can be a part of their firings by proxy! The most intriguing thing about the Tine Man is how it functions socially. Owning a kiln means owning land and well, that is increasingly not the reality for contemporary potters and especially young urbanite ones. Woodfiring has always meant community and teamwork but this kiln expands the idea of community. “The Tine Man Kiln is a tool for independent makers, experimental education and social change”! The kiln is sadly being asked to move and the project intends to endure some upheaval.
Please leave a comment if you know of any other kilns initiatives like this! I am intrigued and always looking for a soda kiln.
Check out the website: http://www.tinmanshands.org