John Baymore at River Bend Pottery

River Bend Pottery   © 1995 - 2011 All Rights reserved




As much as possible John gets off-cuts, mill slab, edgings, and the like from a number of local wood product companies. These mills and wood product companies would dispose of this wood by burning it themselves or sending it off to a landfill to be disposed of by burning in open piles.  In this way, the waste wood being burned is used to produce something useful.  John also gets some wood from landscape companies that do tree trimming work.  This is the way recycling is intended to work.   John also harvests a small amount of wood from his property, taking it at a sustainable harvest rate.

For almost thirty years now, almost all of the wood used for firing Kawagama has been scrap wood.   John tries his best not to cut trees specifically to fire the kiln.   As the wood product industry in New Hampshire has dried up due to the closure of US wood product companies and the importation of wood products from afar, unfortunately scrap wood is becoming harder to find.

Wood as a fuel is considered “carbon neutral” over about a 30 year cycle. Trees sequester carbon into the cells of the wood as they take carbon dioxide out of the air.  The burning of the wood releases the solar energy that was used to tie up the carbon into the wood tissues

and allow the tree to grow.  When it is burned, the carbon dioxide is released back into the air.  Where another tree then repeats the capture and release cycle.  This natural cycle can be repeated over and over with no net gain of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.


The combination of wood as a fuel and the highly efficient noborigama kiln design makes about as low an environmental impact a firing process as is possible.  Compared to this option, a firing solution like a small electric kiln is a far poorer environmental choice.