Wood Firing

"Art creates a bridge between being and embodiment." M. C. Richards

Process: Wood Firing Alchemy

Ceramic pieces fire finished in a wood kiln are imbued with an intriguing sense of beauty. It is a beauty that is at once as ancient of 1,000 years of wood-firing and yet as new as your latest firing strategy. It is a fierce and preserving beauty capable of enduring nature's most powerful forces. It embodies an elegance that is fine crystals forming over a field of jade-green natural ash glaze or the ethereal treatment of undulating flames.

Super heated for extended periods of time, wood-fired art emerges from the kiln marked by its experience. The markings describe the passage of fire, the chemistry of ash on clay, the dynamics of oxygen and combustion. Surfaces tell of extraordinary circumstances, of exposure to intense natural forces. This is the beauty of fused ash, of melting earth, of passage through an inferno. The results exhibit a wide range of finishes: splashes or waves of color, sandy deposits of ash or melted pools of liquid color. Overall, surface decoration is asymmetrical and undulating with an array of effects that vary with the clay, the wood, the stoking, the temperature, the atmosphere, the draft, the season, the weather and the attentiveness of the artist.

While natural forces contribute to the beauty of wood-fired ceramics, the human element is a vital part of the endeavor. Clay and minerals pulled from the earth are nature's contribution; shape and composition the artist's. The final forms are exposed to high temperatures in controlled forces. The artist's creativity must carry through the labor intensive process of controlling, as much as humanly possible, factors that influence the final outcome. There exists and intangible element where the artist's vision merges with the natural forces of the wood-fueled flame. Wood-fired artists seek to nurture these great natural forces. They instigate circumstances that produce beautiful results evoking the artist's vision and quest to grow close to nature.