past online exhibitions


clay kiln  


After more than 25 years of wood firing, the experience still seduces Nic, as it did early in his career as a potter. The build up to a firing takes some considerable planning: organising a firing crew, planning the shifts and firing the kiln to Nic`s latest ideas and theories concerning clay, fire, oxidation, reduction, cooling, ember beds, which wood to use, hard or soft?

In Nic`s early experiences with wood firing he tended to treat wood just as a convenient fuel to turn his precious pots from mud to stone. From very simple sawdust-fired kilns to Nic`s present-day anagama kilns, each presented heartache and exciting surprises! Amongst the disasters, even with the worst of firings, a jewel of a pot can be found, thus inspiring the next episode.

Quite often Nic will take a shard of a pot from the winter grass and will be inspired with new ideas. Shards are excellent recorders of the fire, as Nic doesn`t get distracted by the form of the pot and is able to read the interaction between fire and clay. Very often the shard will be the influence for Nic's next firing based on the latest theory.

So the cycle begins again: which clay to use, the form of the pots and how will the kiln be fired !

Every firing is a new journey into the unknown but yet familiar. Maybe it is something like driving along a motorway, with each journey travelling a little further along, the motorway staying the same, but the scenery changing all the time; from sea, moorland, through to mountains.

Each firing gives a hint of what may be going on within. But that snippet of information opens endless avenues.

tunnel kiln
fast fire kiln in hatfield
groundhog kiln
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