Foothills Ceramic Art Museum Presents...
"THE FIRE DANCE: Risk and Reward in Wood-Fired Pottery”
Featuring the work of 40 national and international ceramic artists
Exhibiting July 5 through September 23, 2017
Gallery Hours: Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11am to 4pm
Post-Labor Day celebration on Friday, September 15, from 5-8 pm
with fine art, food & wine! Special Lecture at 6 pm: “Wood-Fired Aesthetics” by Kenneth Underwood
FCAM Director, Kenneth Underwood describes the exhibit...
“Wood has been used to fire pottery for millennia, since the very beginnings of pottery. Today a select breed of modern potters (and collectors) admire the effects that can be achieved by the direct interaction of the clay with the flame.
Firing with wood is extremely labor intensive. First you have to build (not buy!) a kiln. Then you have to get and chop enough wood to keep a 2000-degree fire going for 3 to 10 days. You also have to convince enough friends to help fire the kiln round the clock for all those days. Wood firing is a community project.
All this labor is not without risk. There are many factors that can determine the result: the type of wood, the shape and size of the kiln, the placement of the pots, the duration of the firing and cool-down. Err in any one factor and the whole kiln load can be ho-hum. But get everything right and the results can be breathtaking. The moment of truth, when the kiln door is opened, is the ultimate reward for a wood firer.
I did not come to appreciate wood-fired pieces for many years. They all seemed so brown and rough. But after buying a teabowl from Chuck Solberg in 2002, I have been hooked. I now can see the beauty in a teardrop of glaze that forms at the end of an ash run. Or in the teadust crystals that shine like a thousand fireflies. Or in the halos and comet tails that form as the flame blows across the pots. I hope that this exhibit will help you to appreciate the beauty and subtlety of the wood-fired aesthetic.”