First Fire

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Art and Design | Art Practice | Arts and Humanities | Asian Art and Architecture | Ceramic Arts | East Asian Languages and Societies | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology


Potter Richard Bresnahan discusses wood firing. He asserts that it is not the placing of the pots in the kiln but where they are not placed that is the truth of wood firing; this theory involves the creation of a chamber in the kiln where no pots at all are placed. The theory, he continues, provided him with the answers to several problems in wood firing, including the problem of building a front fire-mouth chamber from previous first chambers. He adds that there is also the problem of combining three distinctly different styles of firing in a larger kiln for efficient use of energy—a fourth empty chamber enabling the other three to work successfully together as well as independently. The writer goes on the describe the design of his kiln and the firing process.