Be it Art

A reflection about art and all its meanings


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Figurative Sculpture – Anagama Kiln Fired Ceramics

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Last year I was given the opportunity to fire my work in an Anagama kiln.  David Smith, a professor at Edgewood College is an expert in the building and firing of these unique kilns.

Anagama kilns are an ancient style, wood fired kiln originating in China and later brought to Japan where they were used to fire tea ceremony ware.

The Anagama kilns I have seen are about 20 feet long and have a main firebox at one end and a chimney at the other.  Along the 20-foot body are stoking holes where wood is placed during the firing.  The green or bisqued ceramic pieces are loaded into the kiln on shelves.  A carefully planned path for the air and flames is important to ensure good firing. The wood fire process produces a wide range of beautiful surface effects due to exposure to fly ash, added salts and the effects of the flame. The kiln is fired 24 hours a day for up to a week to reach temperatures hot enough to vitrify the clay (2500 degrees).

Playing with Community

I love the concept of ‘community’ in art; creating pieces that relate to each other. For the last firing, I created a set of abstract figures of different sizes and varying gestures.  The pieces are free-standing and can be moved in relationship to each other. As each figure is moved into relationship to another, different emotional dynamics are created ranging from intimacy to abandonment.

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