Primitive Technology: Termite clay kiln & pottery

I built this pottery kiln and some pottery from termite mound clay to test an alternative clay source to my usual one from the creek bank. I started by making a large grate from ordinary clay. It was just under 50 cm in diameter. Next, I took dry chunks of termite nest and put them into the pit in front of the tiled roof hut. The chunks were crushed and water was added to slake the clay. The clay was trodden on to mix it. Dead palm fronds were added to the clay to stop it from cracking as it dried and to add insulation to the kiln. The mixture was trodden on again and then taken from the pit. A trench was dug to form the firebox of the kiln and a wall of clay was made in the front of the trench. A hole was dug into the wall to allow air flow into the firebox.
The grate was placed on top of the firebox and the walls of the ware chamber were built around the grate. When the kiln walls were finished, grate bars made from termite clay were placed into the firebox. Grate bars are important for fireboxes as they lift the firewood off the ground allowing air to move up through the fuel bed for more efficient combustion. Burning wood as a heap on the ground allows cold air to flow up and over the coals, cooling the kiln and leaving the air unreacted with the fire wood. It still works but is much less efficient than using grate bars. The finished kiln was 50 cm tall (above grate height), 50 cm in diameter and with walls about 12.5 cm thick. The pit/firebox was about 25 cm deep and 25 cm wide with grate bars sitting half way between the ground and the circular kiln grate above.
Next, for the pottery clay, I selected a termite mound built on red clay soil. I took it to the kiln area and slaked it with water and mixed it in a small pit. I crushed up an old grate from a previous kiln and mixed it into the termite clay as grog. Grog prevents pottery from cracking as it dries and helps prevent breakage when firing. I then shaped the clay into a small urn. I also made some barrel roof tiles and a smaller pot from termite clay. I then stacked the kiln with the termite pottery.
To fire the pottery, I collected a large pile of dead wood and started a fire in the firebox. I heard some explosions in the kiln early on and knew something broke but continued anyway. Within an hour the kiln had heated up well and the pottery was glowing red hot. By the second hour the temperature went down illustrating an important point: if you over fill the firebox with wood the kiln will choke it and not burn efficiently. Realising this mistake I merely let the wood burn down a little so more air could get through. By 2 hours and 30 minutes the kiln was firing nicely again with all the pottery glowing low orange (about 845 c or 1550 f). I kept it at this low firing temperature for another 30 minutes. The whole firing process took about 3 hours from start to finish, a relatively short period of time for firing pottery.
When I took the pottery out, one tile had broken and the urn had spalled (a piece of the outer pot broke off) possibly due to still having moisture in it. The urn was still useable though and I use it to water the cassava patch. The forge blower was well fired and is now immune to water damage, no longer needing to be carefully protected from the rain. I put it in the barrel tile shed for storage. I put the broken tile and spalled piece from the urn in a special heap of broken pottery. When I make pottery in future I can crush up these broken pots and mix it into the new clay as grog to strengthen the new ceramic items. Finally, I stored the good tiles at the barrel tiled hut as replacements for broken tiles in that structure should there be any damage in future.
Termite clay is good material for making furnaces and an OK substitute for good pottery clay should it be difficult to find a better source. The termites have already processed the clay by the fact that their mouths are too small to include sticks and pebbles into their structures. As a result, the clay is very smooth and plastic. Too smooth for my liking, in fact, I’m used to working with coarser clay that has silt mixed into it naturally. I find that termite clay is either too runny when wet or cracks too easily when drier. It was difficult to form into complex shapes and it took me 2 attempts to make the urn. But for forming objects like tiles it’s OK, it can be pressed into shape and it will hold without difficulty. In future, I’d be likely to use termite clay for mass producing formed objects such as bricks, tiles, simple pots (formed over a mould) and possibly pipes, thereby conserving the dwindling clay supply from the creek bank which I’ll save for more intricate pottery. In summary, termite clay is able to be used to produce basic pottery if no other source can be found. If you have a termite nest you can make basic pottery from it.


  1. STR _Gaming

    STR _Gaming3 саат мурун

    Hppy 10M Subscriber Later

  2. pescador de GO Jefferson

    pescador de GO Jefferson3 күн мурун

    Show de bola like garantido

  3. 펭돌

    펭돌4 күн мурун


  4. Leo Arts Bambu

    Leo Arts Bambu13 күн мурун

    Nice job my brother 🙋🏻‍♂️🎶🎶🎵

  5. super Zebra

    super Zebra14 күн мурун

    Интересно для чего он это наснимал? Пособие по выживанию когда прийдёт апокалипсис?)

  6. Adrien L.

    Adrien L.17 күн мурун

    Those mosquitos sound are so disturbing.

  7. 효원몬

    효원몬22 күн мурун

    한국어 자막있는거 너무 좋아요!

  8. D Vinko

    D Vinko24 күн мурун

    You're hurting your lungs breathing that clay dust!

  9. Lunatic108

    Lunatic10826 күн мурун

    Moving "Punk" to "Tinder" Pile... He is playing "Matchmaker" isnt he?

  10. Saulo Cruz

    Saulo CruzАй мурун

    “Daddy, why is there a termite in my plate?”

  11. HawaiiLimey

    HawaiiLimeyАй мурун

    I watched Bush Tucker Man as a kid, 30 years later I'm as equally transfixed by Primitive Man.

  12. Joseph Edward

    Joseph EdwardАй мурун

    Every nigth with my meat 0:00

  13. Logan Rogers

    Logan RogersАй мурун

    It's like he's making a village for himself

  14. Flameoguy

    FlameoguyАй мурун

    2:07 Half man, half chamber!

  15. Jeremy Bell

    Jeremy BellАй мурун

    I want to see him make something on a modern pottery wheel

  16. Caleb Wilson

    Caleb WilsonАй мурун

    if you didnt vitrify the clay wont it just absorb in whatever you put into it? or did you bisque fire it enought to where it doesnt matter?

  17. kreazot Jeytjg

    kreazot JeytjgАй мурун

    А бля заебень это в средней полосе!!!

  18. Hanh Vo

    Hanh VoАй мурун

    Dkm Vietsub

  19. Tarık KILIÇKAYA

    Tarık KILIÇKAYAАй мурун

    Türkçe altyazıyı yazanlar sayko amk :d

  20. Kaden Kissh

    Kaden KisshАй мурун

    Every million views is $1000

  21. Veronica Evans

    Veronica Evans2 ай мурун

    I made the clay with kids. We have that down to an art now. Making the stove/furnace well were on our 5th one. I have screwed up every single one. The first one was the best should have just kept it ther but I wanted it perfect. The more I did to them the worst they turned out. Though it is now freezing out I am gonna try to make it again anyway. I love this stuff and me the kids have gotten a lot closer and 3 out 4 of them are totally off electronics with the exception night time. The 4th one is an extreme gamer and way more addicted not to mention he has been on it way longer then the other 3. As a single mom I can only do free things and have found so much peace and beauty in it. Thank you.

  22. Shaun du Plessis

    Shaun du Plessis2 ай мурун


  23. Deborah Jaffe

    Deborah Jaffe2 ай мурун


  24. Box BoiGamer

    Box BoiGamer2 ай мурун

    This is obviously the first guy to create primitive shits

  25. Edmundo Amorim

    Edmundo Amorim2 ай мурун

    I really liked the channel, I would like to see you make primitive beer, I'm signing up and leaving the liked.

  26. Handsome Squidward

    Handsome Squidward2 ай мурун

    So when it goes in the fire the pot kinda melts together to form a stronger bond?

  27. FingerFilmt (Kanal Ende 29.02.2016)

    FingerFilmt (Kanal Ende 29.02.2016)2 ай мурун

  28. honestguy77 !

    honestguy77 !2 ай мурун

    Cant you eat termites cooked as a snack?

  29. tina Haynes

    tina Haynes3 ай мурун

    I find these stories meditative. Watching the guy working quietly, listening to the wild life, the fire. Watching the glow in the ash. silently I actually feel good

  30. Gregory Shmegory

    Gregory Shmegory3 ай мурун

    0:25 rare footage of king kong destroying NYC

  31. TheAugustine

    TheAugustine3 ай мурун

    This guy is the real life Steve from Minecraft

  32. 잘봐주세요우리아빠와나에녹화용계정

    잘봐주세요우리아빠와나에녹화용계정3 ай мурун


  33. wolfy boy

    wolfy boy4 ай мурун

    awwwww! poor termites. all their hard work. oh well, they'll build it back up soon, and in the meantime, they have the rest of their base to take shelter in.

  34. Rhengrun

    Rhengrun4 ай мурун

    imagine having trypophobia

  35. tangan

    tangan4 ай мурун

    3:26 turn on the subtitle... You do slavery?

  36. Anna Baldur

    Anna Baldur4 ай мурун

    Most people get their grog from bottle'o

  37. Hussin Rajabi

    Hussin Rajabi4 ай мурун

    Do u know wat diss ur life and your mum

  38. Hussin Rajabi

    Hussin Rajabi4 ай мурун

    If it was u u won’t do nothin so stop dissing him

  39. Hussin Rajabi

    Hussin Rajabi4 ай мурун

    This guy has the best tolls and every thing

  40. Hussin Rajabi

    Hussin Rajabi4 ай мурун

    🤐 your mouth bruv

  41. Orbital_nomad

    Orbital_nomad4 ай мурун

    Kilns/ clay is just another form of 3D printing

  42. 손유진

    손유진4 ай мурун

    5:52 찾음

  43. Dylan

    Dylan4 ай мурун

    What’s the progression of this channel? Is this a series I should watch? Is it going through the ages?

  44. M1SSION101 • 12 years ago

    M1SSION101 • 12 years agoАй мурун

    It’s not going through any ages and there’s not much of a series, unless you want to watch all the things being created in order. It doesn’t matter if you don’t though, it might just mean you see something in the background you never saw before and then later you watch it get built a few videos down the track. He just makes whatever he wants, often either a hut, pottery, kiln or structure related. Although he has made other cool things like types of axes, a bow, a sling, an automated hammer axe and even found iron

  45. Blue Bowser

    Blue Bowser4 ай мурун

    *I would really like to join him and see what it’s like to live the primitive way*

  46. Blue Bowser

    Blue Bowser4 ай мурун

    4:08 natures play dough

  47. mohammed Okbi

    mohammed Okbi4 ай мурун

    -let's get away from cars' smoke and city poloution -ok let's go to the forest and burn it !!!!

  48. Scott the Fox

    Scott the Fox4 ай мурун

    bad nd naughty tiles go into the grog pit

  49. M C shortz

    M C shortz4 ай мурун

    I would love to see this dude on naked and afraid.

  50. Funny Animals

    Funny Animals5 ай мурун

    HIM: adding helpfull things to keep the fire going ME: yo where these marshmallows at?

  51. TeamRepeatYT

    TeamRepeatYT5 ай мурун

    Is that mud?

  52. Alan Zelaya

    Alan Zelaya5 ай мурун

    He uploaded this video on the computer he made out of clay

  53. Kirstie

    Kirstie5 ай мурун


  54. makoto yamamoto

    makoto yamamoto5 ай мурун


  55. Steve Johnson

    Steve Johnson5 ай мурун

    Don't feel too sorry for him. This guy made more than $28.7 million USD last year from KGwork commissions and book sales. He lives in a 40,000sf 4-story beachfront palatial mansion with one of the finest collections of art and decor - and it's all MADE OF MUD!!!

  56. Mirror Blade

    Mirror Blade5 ай мурун

    I wonder if theres a way to manufacture sand paper or something similar to polish all sorts of things.

  57. PS Cubing

    PS Cubing5 ай мурун

    5:17 man, if Link were here.

  58. 구구철

    구구철5 ай мурун

    헐 한국어 자막 있어ㅜㅜㅜㅜ 감사합니당 ㅜㅜㅜ

  59. BornDead616

    BornDead6165 ай мурун

    0:17 Trypophobia Intensifies

  60. Sonicfazmario YT

    Sonicfazmario YT5 ай мурун

    Ooga booga

  61. Reagan Co

    Reagan Co5 ай мурун

    I’m part of that group of gross black water that comes out of every pour