HOW TO BUILD A SUPERMARKET SHOPPING BASKET RAKU KILN

A quick guide to building an economy raku kiln! 

First ask your local supermarket for a broken basket. Our local Sainsburys were very helpful on condition that we provided photographs of what we were doing with it afterwards. The custard creams are of course essential.
The design is based on a ceramic fibre top-hat kiln. Reattaching the handles to the base seemed like a good idea. They fit exactly which is curious. We have cut a kiln shelf to fit inside too.
With bolt cutters and/or pliers cut a hole for the burner (right foreground) and in the base for a vent (hidden). The line the inside with ceramic fibre. About a square metre should be enough. It is pinned on with nichrome wire and ceramic buttons which we made earlier.

Gloves and a face-mask are a good idea when working with ceramic fibre even if a little undignified!

All done. We’ve cut the plastic covering off the handles and pushed the ceramic fibre through the burner opening in the side and the vent on top and rolled it over to protect the wire of the basket from the heat.

A volunteer pot has been chosen and the propane burner been set up ready. The full-size kiln next door has been working all day and is now taking a rest.

Flame on!

980 Centigrade about 15 minutes later. Ready for the pot to go into the wood-shavings.

And then into water…

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Colin’s Taste the Difference tea bowl with thanks to Shannon, Liz and the Queens Road branch of Sainsburys! (For non UK-based potters, Taste the Difference is Sainsburys premium own-brand).

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