MOUNTAIN pottery // kiln opening # 1

Ok so this is from a really long time ago, last November actually, when my kiln arrived all the way from Texas, America, via a Western Australian ceramics supplier, then on to me. This was a lot of organizing, from choosing the right kiln, to arranging shipment, and finding an electrician to install it who wasn’t going to charge me an enormous amount for attaching 5 wires to a plug.

Not to mention the huge hassle I had prior to giving in and buying a brand new kiln, which involved buying a second hand kiln off ebay, organizing all that shipping, and having it arrive basically like a piece of junk. I love ebay and have bought over 150 things though it over several years, and had never had any problems with buying second hand, until I bought my most important item, this kiln. It was just bad luck and that one bad seller. The worst item to have a bad seller with, I had to put in my claim with paypal, re-pack it all, and organize all the shipping for the return and pay for it (I would have been covered for return shipping if the shipping was organized by the seller, but I offered to organize the shipping so it was easier on the seller, I learnt my lesson on that one), then send it all back, and wait for my claim to be approved, it was.

I was so over the whole kiln shipping business, (oh I didn’t mention that I also sold my old kiln on ebay and packaged it all up and shipped it to Sydney) but I still needed a kiln, so I started the whole process again of buying the kiln and organizing shipping but this time I wasn’t going to take the risk, and bought a brand new one (which I would usually never do), but it all arrived perfect, and shinny and was well worth it.

And here it is, after breaking apart the wooden crate packaging, Justin opening it for the very first time, so exciting.

The amazing new kiln, and the piece of s*it off ebay in the background, complete with broken shelves, thanks jerk.

All wired up and ready to go, thanks friend of a friend electrician man. The only way to not get ripped off, the difference of paying $250, compared to the several different quotes of around $900 to wire a plug.

computer controller, so easy, (maybe a little to easy, I feel like its cheating) automatic and manual ramp settings. I’ll make up for it one day by building my own wood fire kiln.

Shelves stacked and cones placed for the initial firing, that has to be done with no pottery in it, to set the elements. All done.

first bisque firing, a mix of earthenware, porcelain and stoneware, to about 1000 degrees celsius, mainly just test pieces. In this photo some test crucible cups in stoneware, and my version of those beautiful bony tea bowls from Clam Lab (for personal use only, not for sale, I wanted to try my hand at them before I could afford the real thing). And the little head sculptures are made by Justin Lee Williams.

Just a few earthenware test pieces.

First bisque firing all done, unpacked and ready to be glazed, I don’t normally use earthenware and commercial glazes, but for kiln testing purposes I needed some low fire guinea pig pots, I used the Duncan glazes in the background, which Justin will be experimenting with on some earthenware sculptures, mixing colours and using the glazes like paint.

Pots all glazed and being packed loosely on Calcined Alumina sand in the kiln, this prevents glaze from damaging shelves if it drips when firing.

Kiln opening #1, final glaze firing, very successful, apart from the crazing (fine cracks in the glaze) due to in proper clay/glaze fit, but as they were all just test pieces its doesn’t matter, the temperature was perfect, the glazes and the clay matured properly and it happy day, this called for a kiln dance.



About MOUNTAINpottery

Mountain Pottery is designed and handmade by Deanne Sarita Smart. The studio is located in a small town of Sassafras in the Mountains of Australia. This pottery is made to be collected, loved and used everyday as some of your most treasured belongings. Each piece is unique and made to order. Aside from being beautiful and functional objects, each collection has an underlying meaning, message or intention. All the vessels are inspired in some way by myth, nature, and symbolic language. About this blog // This blog is designed to be a place of inspiration to others with the same interests and point of view, as well as a look into the creation of Mountain Pottery.


  1. Ceramic Art and Design

    Oh dear poor you I can imagine how you felt. I can also share with you the feeling of the arriving of your new kiln …. it was amazing when I had mine delivered in February. The kiln is my main asset and it need to work properly.
    Beautiful work coming out!!!

    • thanks for your kind words, I just popped over to your blog again and can say the same, beautiful work coming out of your kiln too, I love your black and white installation in the stairwell, how long it must have taken to hang, really great.

      • Ceramic Art and Design

        Thank you.
        It took me 3 days to assemble and hang up the work with a help of two people.

  2. Ceramic Art and Design

    Hello, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award

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