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The Old Kiln Room at Leach Pottery


The room was dominated by a large oriental climbing kiln, the first of its kind to be built in the West and now officially recognised as a monument of national significance.

It was built in 1923 by the Japanese engineer and potter Matsubayashi to replace an earlier kiln constructed by Leach and Hamada.

The kiln, although small in comparison to those in the East, was able to hold up to 1000 individual pieces. The chambers attained different temperatures. The one nearest the firebox reached about 1300 centigrade and was used for glaze firing. The chamber furthest away reached about 900 and was used for the initial biscuit firing.

Pots were placed directly on the shelves where they were exposed to the direct effects of the flames smoke and ash or in covered boxes called saggars.


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