This is one of the two plates that I made for the Tony Moore June 2015 Anagama/Noriborigama Wood Firing. I created all the surface texturing of the clay surface. I wanted the surface to look as if it had been buried int he ground for centuries. My plates were placed on a back shelf in the fire box: anagama. The patina is a very dark caramelized brown. I was surprised by the results. I am looking forward to further exploring texturing the clay for use in my sculptures.
I made this ceramic plate with the intention of breaking it into pieces for my "Invocation" mosaic sculpture. There is something precious about the whole of something. There's a part of me that wants to savor this plate. Still, there is that aspect of ruination in my work. I find myself reveling in the mystery of what is left behind...I will write more about this later.
In November, it will be a year that I've been working as part of a crew of potters that work the wood firings for Tony Moore's Japanese style anagama/noriborigama kiln. It's been an invaluable experience.
After the June unloading, Tony was very generous with his time, as he answered questions I had regarding clay bodies. We discussed what I'm striving for aestethically. Tony was able to show me the results of silica sand on a pot from the firing. The work was beautiful. I got the silica sand! The experience of working with Tony Moore and the opportunity to talk with other potters and to see the vast array of works that demonstrate varied approaches, clay bodies, and techniques has expedited my learning curve, as I am assimilating what I'm reading in my pottery books. I am so grateful for this incredible journey.
Ceramic Sculptor, #tonymoorewoodfiredkiln graciously referred this kiln to me. From what I understand, a potter named, Beth has had this old electric kiln in her basement for years. The exterior is a bit rusted, however it's never been fired! It's 24" x 24" x 13.5"D. It's pretty much a baby kiln. I am so excited! I will now be able to bisque fire my sculptural bead forms and smaller sculptural forms in small batches. Over the last three years, I've observed that most pottery studios have a baby kiln along side the larger electric kilns. It's more efficient and convenient.
Beth and her potter friend, Lisa have been so kind and considerate regarding passing on knowledge on how to work this old kiln. They are bubbly and funny. They didn't want the kiln, still they were adamant about finding a home for it. Beth didn't want it to end up in a landfill.
Thank you, Tony, Beth and Lisa for your generosity and for passing the torch onto a newbie potter like me! I will keep the fire alive!
Richard and I are set to pick it up within the next couple of weeks.
Looking forward to sharing my first firing adventures.
" A beginner is surprised to see the number of pieces an experienced potter can place within the firing chamber." Zen and the Art of Pottery
"All of this requires unhurried attention and collaboration." Zen and the Art of Pottery
"...The mind visualizes the flow of the flame through the kiln and takes into consideration which glazes should be placed high or low, front or back, of the lion, for temperature and atmosphere will vary according to each kiln, each potter firing, and also according to the stacking pattern." Zen and the Art of Pottery
Tony Moore in the process of bricking up the entrance to the Noriborigama. This is also a long very detailed part of the kiln preparation for firing.
We made a line, as we passed kiln bricks to Tony in an orderly fashion.
Tony Moore has just finished placing the last kiln brick into place. The opening to the noriborigama is now closed. The time was 10PM. The kiln door will be mudded the next morning. Needless to say, I was tired from working a 13 hour shift. Loading Tony's Noriborigama was very slow and laborious. There was no way around the minute details that must be considered in measuring and stacking. That is essential work in loading any kiln. Still, I was extremely happy. I was able to experience the preparation for how the magic is made with the wood and fire inside the kiln. I also met some great potters who were so very generous with sharing their knowledge. And I saw some amazing works and techniques. The only way to learn is by doing.
Experienced my first wood firing with Tony Moore on November 22, 2014. Feeling extremely blessed to have connected with other potters within my community. Tony Moore is a self-taught ceramic sculptor. Having the opportunity to speak with him about clay and walking one's own path was so enriching for me. My heart is bursting with thanks.