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How to Build a Portable Raku Kiln




One of the most asked questions we get is how can I make a portable raku kiln? In this page I will try to explain in the easiest possible terms and directions how you can make your own raku kiln. Doug Taylor put this together for me and I know you will thank him for it when you are firing you first raku project.


Materials list:


  • Approximently 9-10 ft. of 36" wide by 1" thick Kaowool (Ceramic Fiber Blanket)


  • 25-30 1" ceramic buttons



  • 30 gal. metal garbage can

  • 2 packages of 10 ft. 17 guage high temperture wire

Tools list:




  • Tin Snips
  • Ice Pick or Sharp Nail
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Wire Cutters
  • Dust Mask, Goggles, & Gloves
  • Scissors

Lay out the ceramic fiber on a clean surface. Set the can on the fiber to make an impression for the bottom piece. Remove can, cut out circle and put aside. Next cut a door opening (about 6") in the side of the can at the bottom for the burner inlet. Now cut out a flue in the lid (about 8"-9" in dia.) on one side of the handle. Cut your ceramic fiber for the lid and attach with ceramic bottoms. To do this poke holes in the lid and fiber with the ice pick and sew the ceramic bottoms to the lid with the high temp. wire, like a connect the dots puzzle. Make a knot on the inside of the first botton and the last one. Now you're ready to install the ceramic fiber into the can. Cut the fiber to fit the inside of the can. Line the can with the fiber and poke holes with the pick around the rim about every 6" - 8". Now sew the bottons into the can as you did the lid. The wire, as well as, the bottons will hold the fiber in place. Now place bottom fiber into the can, this will help secure the walls. Cut fiber away from the lid hole and the burner hole. You will need to get a small kiln shelf and some bricks ( hard or soft) for the bottom of your new raku kiln. This will raise the pieces above the burner flames. The shelf should have about 1"-2" space around it for the heat to rise into the kiln chamber.

Next you will need a burner for your kiln. You can go to a hardware store and see if you can find a propane weed burner or get a venturie gas burner. You will need gas grill propane tank and you will be doing your very own raku firing.

Be sure you aways ware the goggles, gloves, & mask when working with the ceramic fiber as it may cause respiratory and /or skin irritation


I was at a Manufactures' Ceramic Show and saw an electric raku kiln that runs on regular 120 volt current. It is a small (one or two piece) kiln that takes about two and a half hours to fire up but additional pieces fire in 20 to 30 minutes. It is an Olympic Kiln #1214 and sells for $750. Their number is 1-800-241-4400.




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