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The Magical Kiln Gods

Many years ago when pottery and ceramics was young, they didn't have the technology or the wonderful paints and glazes like we do today, so the pottery workers had to do everything by trial and error. They never knew what they were going find once the kiln cooled and they lifted the lid.

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After a while I suppose someone decided they would make up kind of a good luck piece for each load of pottery that they fired, and so the Kiln God was born. Now before somebody gets their feathers ruffled, it has nothing whatsoever to do with religion, it was a make believe whimsical fun character sculpted probably from some of the wet clay scraps laying around on the tables or floor. I would guess that they would fall into the same class as the rabbit's foot or four leaf clover. The Kiln Gods were not all one shape, they were any shape from human, animal or make believe creatures. They were sculpted and dried but never fired and they are were always placed on top of the kiln before the firing was started and left there until the kiln was opened. I suppose if the load fired ok, it was the work of the Kiln God.

Eventually the kiln god will crumble because it is just dried clay that was never fired and a new one has to be sculpted. Some like to paint their kiln gods and some like to just leave them the gray color of the dried clay.

Below are some images I have collected of the different shapes of kiln gods that have been made and used. Notice that some firing Cones, new and used, have been used as decoration on the whimsical Kiln Gods.

Kiln gods Kiln God Kiln god 1 Kiln god 6
Kiln god 2 Kiln god 3 Kiln god 4 Kiln god 5

Kiln god 7

Kiln god 8

Kiln god 9

Kiln god 10

Kiln god 13

Kiln god 11

Kiln god 12

Kiln god 14

A Bah Humbug Kiln God was made by a couple that had a pottery business and was always working late into the night and every weekend just to add a bit of humor to their work.

There is even a National Kiln God Show every year, I don't know exactly where it is held, or if it is held in a different locations each year, but pottery workers from all over bring their prize kiln gods to be judged. The judges look for different and unique kiln gods, all of the entries are of superior workings and techniques. Every entry seems to have a sense of beauty all it's own. If your piece has all of these qualities it will be judged for it's basic characteristic of an individual kiln god.
The winning pieces are the ones that repeatedly surface to reflect the artistic and whimsical aspect of the kiln god.

Like I said before they come in all kinds of shapes. Whether they work or not is all in the mind of the potter. After a few goof ups I made a Kiln God myself, and they must work because my kiln load came out perfect!!! Put a little make believe into whatever you do, whether it is your job or your hobby, it will relax you and help you to do a better job

Some people try to turn back their odometers, not me, I want people to know why I look this way

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Have you ever come up with a good idea while working with your handmade pottery and thought that you would like to share it with others? You have? Well, why not send it to us and we will add it to the tips page for all to see.

Handmade pottery can be a very gratifying hobby that produces fun and satisfying results. For many people it's an enjoyable release that is created by working an inanimate mound of clay into a beautiful work of art that you made through your artistic abilities.

The best way of starting out is to take a few lessons from Youtube. You will probably waste quite a bit in materials when you first get started. Figuring out how to truly make handmade pottery correctly and shape into what you want it to be can be quite an ordeal. The different tools that a normal shop will have can be fun to try. You will soon see which ones you like to use the most and then when you are ready you will know which ones to buy.

With the help of the internet, you can now purchase most if not all of your ceramic and pottery tools and supplies online. We are located far from any well supplied dealers and yet working with reliable ceramic and pottery suppliers online has allowed us to recieve most of our orders within a timely manner.

When you get all set up, just enjoy the hobby and have fun at it. Some people get pretty serious and start selling their creations at craft fairs and small stores, but others just like to create items for themselves, relatives, and friends. Whichever kind of handmade pottery you desire to endeavor, enjoy the hobby and have fun doing it.

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