Work on the studio at Knighton Mill began at the end of 2015. After over six months of cleaning, construction, kiln design and build, we fired the kiln for the first time in August, 2016.
The workshop and office have been created from barn, dairy and stable buildings, making minimal changes to their exteriors. We added a few windows to let in more light, and extended walls to enclose the stables. We've also been working to bring back the natural beauty of the surroundings area, repairing fences and planting trees, hedges and wildflowers.
Local electricians, plumbers, gas engineers, construction and landscaping professionals worked with us to bring studio plans to fruition.
Salt firing involves introducing salt into the kiln chamber at high temperature to create a glaze on the surface of the wares. The "orange peel" texture as well as the warm flashing or vapour trails on the surface are trademarks of this process. The gas kiln at Knighton Mill was designed to achieve a maximum range of surface patterns in every firing.
Originally designed for industrial use, over the past 50 years the process of salt firing has undergone a revival. Our method enhances the aestetic qualities possible when salt is introduced directionaly giving the pot's surface disinctive faces.
The pots at Knighton Mill are fired to 1300 degrees centigrade over 24 hours then rapidly cooled to strengthen the clay. The kiln is left to cool for a further 48 hours before it is opened.
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