Appreciation of our Masters & Teachers

There is a wood-fired kiln is the  Jingdezhen Zhen Kiln. According to Wikipedia, “Jingdezhen (or the Town of Jingde) is a prefecture-level city, previously a town, in northeastern Jiangxi province, China, with a total population of 1,554,000 (2007),[1] bordering Anhui to the north. It is known as the “Porcelain Capital” because it has been producing pottery for 1,700 years.”

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The largest wood-fire kiln in North America is the Johanna Kiln. According to St. John’s University website on the subject, “…the Johanna Kiln can fire up to 12,000 works of pottery and sculpture. It is named in honor of S. Johanna Becker, OSB and is the largest wood-burning kiln of its kind in North America. The kiln takes at least six weeks to load and is typically fired in the fall.”  The website goes on to describe the 3 chambers as such:

“The first chamber is loaded with unglazed pieces and fired to allow for the accumulation of a natural ash glaze surfacing from the wood fuel and firing process. The fire then moves consecutively through all three chambers, or 1,600 cubic feet of interior space, making efficient use of fuel and minimizing waste heat.

The second chamber, or glaze chamber, is loaded with glazed pottery. The chamber is carefully brought up to temperature to allow for special effects such as hair’s fur glaze streaking as part of the extended firing and cooling timeframe. This glaze firing technique is not otherwise obtainable in traditional gas or electric kiln firing practices.

Finally, the unique Tanegashima chamber has eighteen stoking windows in the roof of the kiln. Wood is stoked downwards into the open spaces separating ten rows of kiln shelves and clay works. This creates an environment where large amounts of wood and flame are in continuous contact with the pottery, generating unique flame patterns onto each ceramic surface.

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And then there was a YouTube video I watched of someone loading a wood-fire kiln.

This video gave me a whole new appreciation for Master Potter Tim See & all the volunteers who load the wood-fire kiln where my pottery is brought to its completed phase.

* Heart-based *

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