Kagando Stove

Multi-Saver Stove, Uganda, 2008.


Africadev - Self Help Developments for Africa



Pottery kilns                            (Top of page)

Pots and stoves made of clay have to be fired in a kiln.  The high temperature changes the chemical properties of the clay, permanently making it hard.  Firing can be done in a simple mound of straw, or in a pit in the ground, or a simple adobe brick structure, or a sophisticated brick furnace - all can work.

The process includes the following stages:

  • Drying for several days, not in direct sunlight, but slowly in the shade.  If in a very dry hot environment the clay articles should be kept inside, covered with cloths, straw or similar, so the drying does not happen too quickly.  Fast drying can cause excessive cracking.  Insufficient drying can cause complete cracking and failure during firing.
  • Stack the articles in the kiln.
  • Fire for many hours - a hotter temperature is required for good quality china, a lower temperature for rough earthenware pots and stoves.

Different types:                            (Top of page)

The following illustrate various kilns:

How to How to How to make a simple pit kiln A simple heap kiln can be used
Kilns for bricks and pottery Kiln as used by Potter for Peace (drawings):  fuel efficient downdraft design, made of 1500 bricks, takes 8-10 hours per firing.    

An example from Uganda:                            (Top of page)

The following pictures illustrate different stages of kiln firing of stoves in Uganda in 2008:

Dried pots & stoves ready for firing Stacking stoves in the kiln Firewood heaped over the kiln
Stoves in the kiln after firing Fired stoves

The potter has complained that he looses some products when they get broken during firing - but it seems to me he achieves very good results from a simple, effective technique that enables the firing of over 50 stoves at a time..