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Diagram demonstrating the air flow produced when firing a downdraft kiln.

The air circulates to a much greater degree in a downdraft kiln, adding fuel efficiency and more even heating throughout the stack area when firing the kiln.

Beth E Peterson

Downdraft (adjective) refers to the circulation of the air inside a kiln while it is firing. In a downdraft kiln, the air moves from a burner or firebox at the base of the kiln upward into the stack area, then swirls back downward to exhaust through a chimney opening at the base of the kiln.

Downdraft (noun) is also often used by potters as a shortened form of "downdraft kiln".


I've got a glaze load to set into the downdraft kiln tomorrow.(adjective)

I'll be doing back-to-back firings in the downdraft all week. (noun)

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