Sam Duckor-Jones

Help install a kiln for a more sculptural future

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I am a sculptor without his most vital tool! Pictured - me seated in my idle kiln, with ceramic friend. If I can get this important machine up and running I will be able to participate in so many more sculpture events than I do currently - do you wish to see more brightly coloured large ceramic men in galleries and sculpture parks across the world? Of course you do, so - please help fund the installation of my kiln!

A kiln is where one fires his clay sculptures, turning them from mere dried mud into rock hard permanent fixtures.  As long as I've been working with clay I've had to call on the generosity of other ceramists and potters to borrow their kilns, or else hire kiln space at art clubs and the like.  This means the nerve-racking job of transporting delicate unfired work, often over long distances and only infrequently getting to fire work, depending on kiln availability.  As well, I make very large pieces (see above photo of white chap at rest on studio table) and there aren't many kilns around that are a good fit.  

Well, last year I finally got my very own piece of equipment - an old heavy thing, rough around the edges but in good working order, a large beast of a kiln, just perfect...but for the past twelve months it has been sitting dormant in the garage since I can't afford to get it installed and running.

The aim of this boosted campaign is to raise enough money so that I can install the kiln and have the studio set up I need in order to develop as a sculptor. There are a lot of events and opportunities to exhibit, but currently I don't have the kit to complete work fast enough. I have had to say no so many times when I want to yell yes yes yes!  A working kiln in my home studio will change everything.

Check out more of my works here.


  • First firing postponed


    Disregard last update!  I started her up this morning as planned, but the kiln was backfiring and making alarming sounds like BANG, POP, etc.  So - for safety of self, sculptures, neighbourhood, first firing has now been postponed until the kiln has had further assessment from the expert.

  • Firing - a first date


    Dear generous donors - 


    The kiln is all set and ready to go and the first firing will be this Sunday the 10th.  I will turn the kiln on at dawn - I expect it to take 10 to 12 hours to reach top temperature.  I'll be hovering near by taking notes and mopping my brow and I'd like to invite everyone who is able to come over for a visit that day, any time that suits you.  I will put out some clay to play with, pull out the pottery wheel for a spin, have a hearty pot of autumn soup ready to share around, and maybe clink a wee goblet of beer with you to say- welcome kiln!  Please behave!  I'll put up a picture here of the results.


    Address is 14 Lyon St, Featherston, Wairarapa.  All welcome.  x Sam

  • An ebullient thank you


    This kiln fund campaign ends tomorrow - that the target was reached so quickly and that people continued to make donations afterwards is a beautiful gesture that I hope you all know has been graciously recieved.  I think I've already mentioned being overwhelmed, a feeling that continues to circulate, so let me move on to excited - because it's right around the corner!  A red hot kiln filled with new experiments and characters.  Thank you everyone, I don't know what else to say except that your generosity is a blessing. x Sam

  • kiln will be installed!


    Well that all happened quite quickly!  Thanks everyone for your generosity, I am deeply touched and very excited about all the new things I'll be able to make with an....installed kiln!  Thanks folks, from an extremely grateful Sam - you have made a difference.  And if you're ever in the neighbourhood, please do stop by to have a look at what you helped make happen.

  • Thanks!


    A huge THANK YOU to all who have donated so far!  It is wonderful to have such support for this important job.  At this rate it looks like the kiln will certainly be installed before long.  


    If the kiln fund does end up exceeding the set target, those donations will go directly towards kiln running costs and the purchasing of materials - clay and paint, I use a lot!

     Thanks again everyone