Colson Studio eBooks

Welcome to the October Bimonthly Newsletter from

Frank Colson International Colson Studio Complex.

NEWSLETTER: October 15, 2009


I am fully understanding that those of you who receive this publication are participants in many related fields of art who work with clay and the world of all the implements which are needed to produce a finished piece which "sings"!
One of the realities one often encounters is the matter of "zoning' for the operation and placement of a kiln!  Particularly a fuel kiln.
I would like to illustrate a real life experience (Tip of the Month)   I once had on this matter.  It may seem a bit farfetched; the fact is that this is really what occurred:

Once, upon the near completion of a large roll-in fuel kiln being built in a restricted zoning area, a local complaint was filed and in no time a city building inspector came into sight. He glanced at the completed arch which rose above him, and asked to see the building permit for the structure.  I replied that it was not a structure, but rather a piece of equipment.  The kiln was built with no bounding mortar in the brick, making it dismantling if necessary. Still, the building inspector would not accept the kiln as a piece of equipment and repeated that it was an enclosed structure requiring a building permit.  I asked the inspector to return the next day so that I could present him with proof that the kiln was indeed a piece of equipment.  In the interim, ten large burners were installed on the kiln, and three large pots measuring 60" high, were put into the firing chamber.  Upon his return, I asked the inspector to step into the "structure" along with the floor vases previously installed. I turned on the burners, all eight of them, in order to bring the temperature well over 2300 degrees F.  From that day forward, there was never any more question as to whether the kiln was a structure or a piece of equipment.

I am aware that each situation has its own set of circumstances which need to be carefully evaluated and handled in a manner that Will not offend or infringe on zoning regulations.  However, in many circumstances I have learned that whenever there is a "grey" zone in defining what to apply or not apply for, I'll build or install the kiln firs and then confront the situation.  I have had circumstances occur where a neighbor next door asked if I was building a "barbecue", and I would agree that I was!  Even recently as two days ago an enterprising  potter emailed me asking if he could build my 12' updraft catenary on a metal frame with rolling wheels so he could return his kiln back into his garage after firing.  He stated that his reason was that his neighbors got bent out of shape seeing a kiln next door outside.


Frank Colson



To see a listing of a wide range of eBooks offering information, graphics, photos, and technical  guidelines, go to:



NEWSLETTER: October 15, 2009



A word about Frank Colson: Frank Colson initiated research, construction, and development in the field of kiln building and sculpture casting more than 3 decades ago!

He published a book by Prentice Hall in 1975: “Kiln Building with Space Age Materials” which became the definitive source of information on the use of “Ceramic Fibers” in kiln construction today! For an in-depth study on Frank Colson, go to

Mission Statement

It will be the endeavor of these Newsletters to provide:

1. A synopsis of new eBooks under the website name of These will be in addition to the 20 some eBooks already available on subjects such as “Hand Made Tiles”, “Ceramic Shell Casting”, and other e-manuals currently proven successful publications.

2. Offer internet links to “free” information on “how to” make raku tongs for less than $l0.00, “kiln firing techniques for both updrafts and down-draft kilns, as well as numerous other related subjects.

3. “Tip of the Day” provide technical tips on a wide variety of applications related to the making of clay and sculpture forms.

4. Application for becoming an Affiliate for Colson eBooks providing a residual income to the subscriber. Only available through this Newsletter.




Become an affiliate. Click here to learn more.

Each eBook sent as a PDF download.


FREE - Metal tong making diagram and instructions - FREE








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Colson eBooks Newsletter index
Newsletter #5 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2009
Newsletter #4 October 15, 2009
Newsletter #3 September 15, 2009
Newsletter #2 August 15, 2009
Newsletter #1 July 14, 2009 

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