30 March 2019

The making of clay building materials - part 3

     After whatever was loaded into the kiln has been fired (baked) long enough - days in the case of this wood fired kiln - the end products cool for another few days as the temperature in the kiln makes removal possible.  The resultant material is stacked, ready for sale.  There is a dramatic change from fragile greenware made of clay/dirt that was dug on site plus volcanic ash plus water.  Lovely material strong enough to build with.

     Close-up below shows the color of the fired material whether bricks or floor tiles or roof tiles.  None of what's made at this operation is glazed.  Everything that comes out of the heat is terra-cotta which, translated, simply means 'baked earth.'  

     But, as happens in firings everywhere, some material comes out damaged and thus isn't suitable for sale.  A lot of the damaged stuff is used on site such as the storage shed shown below.  The unfired material drying in the sun in front of the shed clearly shows the before and after firing colors.

     Close-up of a portion of the wall shown above: