I fired the Manabigama this week with Amy Hand a local potter and ceramic sculptor. We preheated all night with gas and then kept the burners on until noon as we started building up heat and throwing wood in Sunday morning. After 17 hours of firing and having used less wood than we anticipated needing we hit a soft cone 12 & 13 up front with soft cone 10 in the middle and at the back wall near the flue on the floor. There were a few pieces with one particular flashing slip made and left by a previous instructor this fall that had no effect. Have any of you had issues with “Flashing Slip #1” in wood kilns before? ….. Anyhow I wanted to share some of my results.

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Every time I make work for a wood fire I generally fall back on to a few specific forms which relate to pieces and styles both historic and contemporary that I enjoy and draw inspiration from. The work is so different from the main body of work though that I have begun to question its relevance to what I do. Why make these pieces which don’t fit in with my work?

I enjoy making them but dont feel that I can sell or show them. I tell myself from time to time that making this work, which I generally trade or give away, is a way of letting loose from the work I usually make or that it allows me to stretch another set of muscles and play. I also wonder if it is a way to connect with community which has always been one of the most important factors of ceramics to me personally. I love the group effort that goes into these firings and being there as part of a team when things are going poorly or amazingly well. I’m still thinking about this and at the same time trying to find ways to pull woodfiring back into my current body of work.

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