Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bird Tower and Charcoal Kilns

These are charcoal kilns. They were built by the Pioneer Charcoal Company in the 1950s to process blackjack oak that grew abundantly around the former town of Romeo between Williston and Dunnellon. The raw dark wood from the trees was stacked inside the kilns and slow cooked until it carbonized. It was then compressed and sold as briquettes or lump charcoal.

The smoke from the kilns was so thick at times that it obscured the highway in front of the plant. The kilns haven't been used since the 1960s when the plant was sold and a modern charcoal cleansing facility was built at the site. Boy I'd love to have one of those kilns I sure could cook up something wonderful in clay in one of those.

Here's another stacked tower, a bird tower, with a bird on a handle. It's about twelve inches tall.

I'm leaving the building marks purposefully visible on these. I even left a small hold in the side where the clay was a little short. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. Ooh...I had never heard of those before. Amazing! Those are so interesting. The bird tower is simply beautiful.

  2. Another beautiful tower of yours! I've never understood how wood turned to charcoal rather than ash. But the kilns are so huge! Must have been big business!

  3. those kilns are huge! they look neat with the vines growing all over them.
    your towers are evolving! do you have glaze plan for this one yet?

  4. I love how the ivy is trying to reclaim the kilns. They may have some success.
    We potters really appreciate the fingermarks and evidence of the making, don't we?

  5. I like these stacked pieces very much..definitely a technique with bags of potentials. This one with the little bird is wonderful!

  6. fantastic this with a bird on a handle, it's great, I loooove it!!!

  7. Lovely buildings and what a cute bird tower.


  8. Those kilns are incredible! They must have been something back in the day. Lovely bird tower and very original! Have a Happy 4th, cher!

  9. wow, had never heard of charcoal kilns... neat!

  10. Hi Turquoisemoon, thanks, I had never heard of those before either. Drove by them several times and finally stopped and took the photos.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, curious about the charcoal thing too, I'd think about ash too, but I guess if you stop it before it turns to ash, then you get charcoal maybe, what do I know. Ha.

    Hi Michele, thanks, glazing hasn't entered my mind yet for these not sure about that, hoping some inspiration comes to me.

    Hi Lori, thanks, it seems a shame to just let them deteriorate though. Yes we do love our making marks, hopefully someone else will too. Ha.

    Hi Mark, thanks, yes interesting how one idea can lend itself to so many more.

    Hi Elena, thanks so much.

    Hi Elna, thanks so much.

    Hi Marguerite, thanks so much, hope you have a happy fourth too.

    Hi Amy, thanks, I never heard of them either. I was thinking they might have been kilns for tile or something but then I learned differently.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment