Justin has coordinated and led several kiln building workshops and is available for future kiln building and firing workshops. He has just finished construction of a 2-chamber wood kiln at his home studio in Goshen, Indiana. Additionally, Justin co-coordinated an International Wood Fire Ceramic symposium that took place at Carlow University in June 2009.

Goshen Soda Kiln

In Summer 2014, with the help of two interns, Justin designed and built a small natural gas fired soda kiln. You can view a video of the kiln construction and first firing on our youtube page.

Goshen Wood Kiln

GoshenKilnI built my 2-chamber wood kiln in Summer 2010. If you are interested in helping with a firing, or renting kiln space please email me. Firings are between 70 and 100 hours long. The rear chamber is used for soda firing and glaze ware. Occasionally I teach wood firing classes.

Union Project Gas Kiln

In June 2006, Justin and Dale Huffman led a kiln building workshop at Union Project, in Pittsburgh. They constructed a sprung arch gas reduction kiln over the course of 2 weekends. The gas kiln is fired to cone 10 with Ward Power Burners in about 8 hours, and has approximately 25 cubic feet of stacking space.

Laurelville Makigama


In March 2008, Justin, Dale Huffman, and Eric Knoche, led a kiln building workshop in conjunction with the Pittsburgh NCECA conference. The kiln was built in Mt. Pleasant, PA at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center. The kiln is operated as a joint program between Laurelville and Union Project. It is a makigama style wood kiln. Design documents and pictures from the workshop are located in the right column of this page. The kiln has approximately 65 cubic feet of stacking space. A large fire box and 2 side stoking locations allow for increased ash collection on side fired pieces.



pizza-kilnI have a woodfired pizza oven, made out of left over materials from my wood kiln. It’s a tiny brick catenary arch with an adobe-like exterior coating. It takes about an hour to heat up the oven to be hot enough for pizza.

The oven is built out of low duty brick. I use a small piece of kiln shelf to “preheat” the pizzas on. The exterior coating of the kiln is a mixture of sand, sawdust, fireclay, and portland cement. I used this same coating on the exterior of my kiln as an insulator. By volume the mix is approximately:

  • 3 parts sand
  • 3 parts sawdust
  • 3 parts fireclay
  • 1 part portland cement

The pizzagama was built by Jon Grengs and Lauren McCutcheon during one of my first wood firings. The COMMUNITY brick was made by Josh Copus. In addition to being part of a great public art piece, it also works well as the chimney for the kiln.

Here’s the pizza dough recipe I’ve been using:
  • 1 pkg dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water
  • 3 – 4 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • A healthy pinch of salt

Dissolve yeast in water, let it stand for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, saving about a cups of flour to use during the kneading process. Blend ingredients. Knead dough until it is smooth and elastic. Coat the inside of a clean bowl with oil and turn the dough in it to coat it. Cover with a clean towel and let it rise for an hour or so. Then shape into crusts.