Making a pot out of clay is a complex affair, decisions on shape, scale and balance are needed every step of the way. But it is the alchemy of heat that transforms 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 and 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 go at firing. Some, like the Anagama and Bourry box kiln are practical solutions to wood-firing, others are testaments to the way fire behaves.