Woodfiring is a method of producing pottery by burning wood to heat a kiln instead using gas or electricity.
Two years ago, David attended a woodfire workshop in North Carolina given by Tom Coleman, Chris Gustin and Dan Finch. The goal was to fill Dan's massive Anagama kiln (50ft.L X 6ft.W X 7ft. H. ). It took over 10 potters from around the country contributing their work and labor towards this effort. After 4 days of loading, 5 days of firing around the clock, and 6 days of cooling ,the unloading began. Tom and Chris, who are masters of this method, orchestrated the firing, from the loading of pottery, and timing of the stoking of the fire boxes.
The exquisite surfaces born out of flame and ash cannot be precisely replicated in gas reduction or electric firing. And, certainly, the commitment and camaraderie of a community of potters working closely together, sharing history, education and acquired skills, is as unique an experience as the one of a kind results.
Woodfiring is a high risk proposition. A tremendous amount of time and expertise is necessary. 100% of the result may not be stellar. But - the successful wood fired piece is a gem to behold; like a pearl in an oyster. For a potter, it is a treasure worthy of the quest.