This kiln was built after the Iowa river flooded the art studios at the University of Iowa in 2008. It was located on the Oakdale Campus that is now part of Coralville, Iowa. The old building on the site was originally constructed to serve as a slaughter house for the Oakdale State Tuberculosis Sanatorium that was operational in 1908. Ceramics Professor Chuck Hindes had inherited the dilapidated brick building for his private studio while he taught at the University of Iowa. He converted the rustic building into a potter's studio and made a shed along the north side of the building to shelter a wood kiln that he constructed. The building was slated to be demolished after his retirement in 2006 to make room for the University’s plans to expand on the Oakdale campus. The wood kiln that Professor Hindes had built was taken down to avoid it being pushed over with the building. However, the building and shed managed to remain standing and seemingly forgotten a few years after his retirement.
Thankfully, this site was available to be used after the flood on a temporary basis to continue my studies in graduate school.
The kiln that we built at this location was the first working kiln the University had after the devastating flood. It was completed in September of 2008 and was fired 4 times before the University asked us to tear it down in February of 2009. The site is now a parking lot for Oakdale Research Facilities.
Many thanks to Joe Meinecke, Juston Rominger, Mat Rude, Scott Poulson-Small, Frankie Ditri and many other students from the University who helped construct this kiln.