The making of a clay work is a complex affair, decisions on shape, scale and balance are needed every step of the way. And yet at the end, once your work is a dry lump of clay, it lacks the final and most important step. That step is the fire. The alchemy of heat is to transform the clay into a ceramic object, melting chemicals and rendering them indelibly altered. This firing process is one that fascinates me. The ability of man to construct a box that will withstand white heat generated solely from burning wood is what initially drew me to wood-firing.
Likewise the transformation of glaze chemicals from dusty white powders to shiny glass is an incredible one. Once the basics of fire are grasped, the way it flows like a river through the kiln, then you can start to experiment, to play with fire. Yes you do get burnt, but the reward is the ability to shape the fire. In these web pages I am highlighting a few of the kilns that I've had a hand in making. Some, like the Anagama and Bourry box kiln are practical solutions to wood-firing. Others are testaments to the way fire behaves.