Thursday, December 9, 2010

Anagama Firing

I just came back from a fantastic vacation. I had a great bonding experience with other potters from all over the world. I attended a coil building workshop at Piedmont College in Demorest, GA. The demonstrators were two Japanese potters, Fujita and Izumi, from Echizen, (Fukui Prefecture) Japan. I lived with these two potters and another potter, Danny Crocco a USC graduate student, for almost a week at Piedmont's Walter House. (pictured starting left: Izumi, Brent, Danny, Fujita)

The workshop lasted for two days and we learned a Japanese coil building method that is indigenous to Echizen. It was intimidating to see Fujita construct these huge storage jars that have walls the thickness of a pencil. In spite of being intimidated, I think I got a rather nice piece from the workshop (note the house logo)!

After the workshop, we started loading and firing Piedmont's anagama kiln. Using only electric kilns at SCAD, I had forgotten how natural and basic (think organic, because this method is very complex) a wood firing is. It's been a little over two years since I had participated with one, and I wasn't very fond of it then, but it's amazing what a few years can do to someone's perspective.

Of course, I don't recommend the taking two 12am-6am shifts in a row, and then driving 4 hours to see your family on Thanksgiving, but I do recommend participating. It's cold, killer hours, and lots of hard work, but when you form covalent bonds (for all you chemistry nerds out there!) with the clay community and see your finished result, it is all worth it. Pictures of the finished result coming soon.

Oh and before I forget, I was so excited to post about this vacation, because it makes me so happy to see a respectful Japanese elder who travels to America to teach ceramics students about the legacy of his culture...wait for it...wearing toe socks. Not just any toe socks either, but pink and gray striped ones (you know he got them out of the girls department). :D

Over and out.


1 comment:

  1. hey there lady,

    the website looks really good!!! i had no idea that fujita had toe socks thats too perfect. can't wait to have you back we are firing the kiln again over our spring break which is March 7-12. hope you can make it up.

    o yeah. and where did your pot go?