Even from a distance you can smell the aroma of wood smoke as tall flames rise quietly from the flue of the 56-foot-long anagama (a Japanese-style tube kiln) at Peters Valley, a crafts community occupying land leased from the National Park Service. After the flame recedes, another load of split oak will be stoked. The cycles of stoking and waiting continued throughout the nearly five-day period in this kin’s first firing to be led by westerners.
“Personage 10,” handbuilt porcelain, 11.5 inches in height, by Gerda Gruber.
Wheel-thrown stoneware pitcher, 11 inches in height, with dipped and sprayed glazes, single fired to Cone 10 in a reducing atmosphere, by Steven Hill.
Detail of “Bad Manners,” a life-size installation sculpture by ceramist Marilyn Lysohir. Handbuilt food and flowers, thrown plates, cups, saucers and candlesticks were underglazed, clear glazed and fired to Cone 04 in an electric kiln. Figures were slab built, coated with colored terra sigillata, burnished and fired to Cone 04 in a gas kiln; chairs and table substructure are made of wood.
Sandy Simon in her California studio. Working with a Grolleg-based porcelain, this Midwest-trained potter decorates thrown, altered forms with brightly colored slips and stain-colored frit/clay “rocks.”
“Obsidian,” porcelain teapot, 13 inches in height, handbuilt from paper-thin slabs, fired to Cone 10 in a charcoal-filled saggar, by Phil Cornelius.
Canadian ceramist David Taylor in his Dayspring, Nova Scotia, studio. Initially trained as a painter, he still acknowledges that connection in his clay work, utilizing a palette of slips and glazes to build depth and color on surfaces.
Stoneware mold, 8 inches in diameter, Northern Song dynasty China (A.D. 960-1127). Used in producing celadon-glazed bowls with “carved” interiors, these molds were formed by pushing clay into a master, then firing for stability. The underside of this mold is roughly finished, but others were more refined, and look like thickly thrown bowls.
Handbuilt bowl, 8.5 inches in height, raku-fired earthenware, with glaze and stain decoration, by Peder Rasmussen of Denmark.