YAOLI - Dragon Kiln

A semi-continous ceramic finishing kiln. It builts on a slope, lying like a dragon. Dragon kiln was invented in Chinese Warring States Era. As porcelain industry developes and kiln builder’s improvement, in Song dynasty, builders improved length and kiln gradient. Song dynasty’s dragon kiln length and slope were not only reasonable but also closed to perfection.

Dragon kiln consists of kiln head, kiln bed, and kiln tail. In manner of natural venting, its fuel are assorted wood, pine branch and other plants, and flame inside mostly flow against kiln bed. Dragon kiln is 10-20 degree tipsily build on mountain slope or mound forming a long tunnel shape. Kiln head angle is larger, around 20 degrees, middle part around 15 degrees, tail part around 11 degrees. There is a pre-heater in kiln head, and there is no chimney in the tail, because the kiln body itself is a chimney. Length is 20-80 meters, width is 1.5-2.5 meters, height is 1.6-2 meters. For area of section, kiln head is the smallest, and middle part is the largest. The fuel inlet is set on top of kiln. The biggest virtue of dragon is temperature going up fast and going down fast, suitable for fast firing, and also can maitain reducing flame for celadon ware. So, dragon kiln is called “cradle of celadon ware”. Celadon and black glazed porcelain are mostly fired in dragon kiln.
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