One of 200 handmade ceramic tiles from the April Tony Moore Wood Firing in Coldspring, NY. I am ecstatic about the results. This is the beginning of a long creative process that will culminate in thousands of handmade sculptural tiles for a large scale installation I am working on. So, there are many, many more wood firings, gas reduction and alternative firings to go. The beauty rests within the process...Patience....Gratitude...
After both the anagama and noborigama were completely unloaded. Tony engaged everyone in a discussion of the kiln results. Tony described the particulars of the firing process, as well as the unique challenges that contributed to what was most unique about the April firing. Tony encouraged everyone to share special glazing and surface results.
It was my first time participating in an unloading from beginning to end. I found it to be incredibly educational. I was excited to see so much amazing work with breathtaking results. I am already looking forward to the July firing.
The anagama and noborigama were unloaded systematically; the pots were laid out on pallets according to where they were originally placed inside the kiln. Therefore, one could see the atmospheric effects on the works.
One of my fellow crew members at the Tony Moore April Wood Firing Kiln Unloading. That's me in the background!
Unloading the anagram and noborigama involves cleaning of the kiln shelves and bricks...That makes for lots of dust and flying particles. Therefore, gloves and masks are essential gear.
Seth pictured here working on cleaning off the kiln bricks. Seth is a ceramic teacher from Brooklyn. His sculptures were amazing.
Shelita Birchett Benash with Tony Moore, sculptor and kiln master. I've learned so much in the year that I've been firing with Tony. I've met so many amazingly gifted potters and sculptors. I've been able to experience a sense of community, creativity and sharing with potters and sculptors from near and far. Catherine Thomas drives down regularly from Canada!
Nature feeds the process. This is a marking technique that I have mused on for years now. I look forward to placing the several hundred small tiles throughout both chambers inside Tony Moore's anagama/noriborigama Japanese style wood burning kiln in April.
Nature feeds the making. Working on a sculptural tile study using different clay bodies. I will fire several hundred tiles over a series of wood firing with Tony Moore.
I am honored and thrilled to have my sculptural work in dialogue with the compelling works featured as part of New Directions '15 at the Barrett Art Center.
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.
This creative process is confounding and exhilarating. I've spent the last several months making the sculptural tiles and building the piece in my mind. This sculpture takes me back in time. Still, I push forward...
Instagram post from April 2015.
I had made enough work for a kiln load.
Honored to have my sculptural works chosen as part of this dynamic interactive sculpture exhibition that celebrates touch as part of the aesthetic appreciation of art. June 28 thru September 6, 2015
Excited to have three of my mixed media sculptures chosen for this wonderfully compelling and inclusive exhibition for the visually impaired.
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.
My mind is gestating a new project. I'm in the beginner's mind; about to submerge into the chaos of unknowing. Heart beats faster...
“I always wanted to be free.”~ Thorton Dial
Out of Bounds: Freedom of Expression is an international all media exploration of how deep creativity and fearlessness push artists outside the lines of traditional methods, applications and ways of seeing. The featured media are emblematic expressions of the untethered spirit that knows no limits.Out of Bounds seizes upon that symbiotic dialogue between viewer and artwork. And through social media’s real-time connectivity; the artist also becomes part of the conversation. With this action, the exhibition will attempt to break out of the static material gallery space; onto virtual platforms. By using various 21st century technological modes of direct communication; this exhibition serves as a fluid work-in-progress exposing the featured artists to the viewer’s gaze and gallery experience. Out of Bounds seeks to facilitate perspective cross-connections that forge new and significant links between viewers and artists, while revealing art’s value as a participatory culture and meaningful place maker. The interactive nature of the exhibition gives viewers the ability to openly engage with the artists as they consider the artworks, the power of personal narrative and unfettered creativity.
“Out of Bounds: Freedom of Expression” has a corresponding Facebook page, Tumblr blog and Twitter account where viewers are encouraged to actively participate digitally with the artists. QR codes inside the exhibition also take visitors directly to Vimeo.com, where they can watch short films and videos by the “Out of Bounds” digital storytellers
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.
Today, Richard and Larry built my barrel kiln today based on a kiln I saw in the book "Alternative Kiln & Firing Techniques." I am over the moon! Thank you!!!