Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wood kiln database


This is just a quick hit, but I wanted to publish this here before I forget.  I just read over at another pottery blog that Simon Levin and Josh Harmony have been working on a worldwide wood kiln database and map.  This isn't strictly under our topic here, but it is definitely an interesting community project.  Check it out here.

Friday, April 17, 2009


April 17, 2009
As we get ready for our next anagama firing, I can't help thinking about the past 3 years. It's hard to believe I started our wood kiln project back in 2006. It has been a journey worth taking but it has also been challenging. 
I've been wanting to make my first post on this site for some time. It is a little intimidating, but I'm committed to keeping a dialog open on the subject of our pottery practices and the environment. Everyday I am reminded of how lucky I am to be a potter and what an enormous responsibility it is to pass on good information to the young potters just starting out. 
We have learned so much during the past 3 years and yet I feel like we are just getting started. We will be weighing everything that goes in and out of the anagama for this firing, including shelves, posts wood, pots and wadding. This will help Michael (our helpful graduate student from CU) fine tune our carbon foot print calculator. We will put the calculator up on this site once we have gathered just a little more information. All of us at the Pottery Lab in Boulder are currently gathering information from our gas and electric kilns to use as a comparison.  As I look deeper into "Best Practices" I begin to realize that firing is just one small part of what we can improve.
Last night at class, I talked about the power of making pots that come from inside us. Our own work, work that tells our story and expresses who we are in the world. Being present and aware of not only the work we produce, but the way we approach our work makes a strong statement about who we are. Will it matter in the end? I believe it matters now and in the end. Each choice we make, whether it is agonizing over moving your handle up or down a quarter of an inch or making the decision to recycle your clay, reminds us of our core values and keeps us in touch with who we really are. I'm thankful for all the different approaches and the way potters find their own meaning and balance their studio practices and work.
We fire from April 29 to May 2. I will post throughout the firing and let you know what we are learning.  
Wish us luck!