Nothing compares to the richness of wood fired ceramics. The process of wood firing is extremely active, uncontrolled and unpredictable. The results are dramatically affected by infinite variables. The type of kiln, wood species, ash, humidity, ambient temperature, air pressure, rate of heat rise, draft, oxygen levels, clay composition, kiln loading and firing duration all impact the outcome. The non-stop loading of the kiln and direct exposure to the intense heat of the flame is exhilarating and exhausting. The interaction of the clay and wood ash creates wonderful surface colors, textures and patinas which eliminate the need for glazes. Because of the lack of control, wood firing lends itself particularly to more fluid, less structured forms. For this reason there is a much greater sense of freedom and fun in creating wood fire pieces. Opening a wood fire kiln several days after the end of a firing is pure serendipity.
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