As part of the pottery project I have been doing in South West Bay Malekula in Vanuatu, I am now looking at the possibility of building a wood firing kiln in brick. I have an opportunity to obtain 2500 fire bricks, as well as 30 kiln shelves for $2500. This would be the basis to build a substantial kiln for the South West Bay community and give them the main tool towards being sustainable with their pottery. Beyond the bricks and shelves, there would be a need for some kiln props, bags of fire clay to put the kiln together and some steel and rod to brace the kiln when built.
What I would like to be able to do soon is obtain the raw materials so that this opportunity does not disappear.

image002I am estimating another $2500 to cover the extra materials and freight to get this all sent out to Vanuatu in a container and then on via the coastal barge to Malekula. Beyond this, $2500 to cover me to go and spend the time necessary to put it all together (return airfare and living costs for two to three weeks).

I see the kiln as the last main piece of infrastructure to largely complete the project from my end. We have now involved TVET (a training organization in Vanuatu) in the ongoing training and management for the project because they see it as a worthwhile enterprise.

So all up, around $7500 would set this project up as an example of what a community in Vanuatu can achieve using local materials and skills acquired from a series of winter workshops over a few years (also the month long training of Ken Naki in Australia after which he received TVET training as a trainer).

(We have also been assisting with the planning of a new local church, classrooms designs for the local school, books for the school library, music recorders for two primary schools, assorted solar lights for a range of local villages needs and the making of a bronze bell sent out on a yacht for the new church.)

The present priority right now is to be able to purchase the bricks and shelves, the freight and travel can wait till next year, so if there is anyway to assist in this it would be fantastic. Suggestions and ideas would be most welcome!
Alistair Whyte
E: ajwhyte@iprimus.com.au

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