Thursday, September 27, 2007


August 2007 Peters Valley, NJ. Four day firing begins.

John Dix stirs embers

I'm stokin'

late work hours leads to ... but seriously, bandanas, sunglasses and hats required attire for feeding the fire

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Loading the anagama kiln

1000 objects were loaded over two days.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Our fearless leader at Peters Valley August 2007, John Dix, master potter from Japan, working in the Bizen tradion.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

sore muscles testify to the week's work

Work made the week before the firing, drying in the sun. Missing is a photo of the big black bear crossing the road a mile from the kiln... we were in a car and um, quite relieved to not be on foot!

Saturday, September 22, 2007


This summer I was introduced to wood firing at Peters Valley in Layton, NJ. Now I find myself smitten by the fire bug. With yearning and joy I recollect this first experience with fire:

John Dix, master ceramic artist living in Japan and working in it’s ancient clay tradition, was resident artist. He spent a week demonstrating traditional and innovative approaches to making vessels, and a second week managing the anagama firing. Many thanks to Bruce Dehnert, director of the ceramics program at PV for all the amazing prep and support. Studio assistants Danny Crumb and Cori Beardsley, and Charles Lid, ceramics instructor in New Brunswick, NJ, did a lot of the grunt work in kiln prep, and all twelve participants pitched in loading and stacking over a thousand pieces of work. Finally we worked in teams round the clock, stoking the kiln every 10 - 15 minutes. Temperatures grew -- it was fascinating to witness the fire's life growing as the temps peaked, stall out and then begin climbing again. By the end of the fourth day temperature was in excess of 2300 degrees. It would take five days for the kiln to cool down enough to unload and see how the firing turned out. And we were delerious with anticipation. Finally the day came for unloading