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


Part of a special section on the 1999 International Woodfire Conference. The technique of putting water into a high-temperature woodfired kiln is discussed. This 800-year-old technique is used to oxidize the environment, clear carbon, and quickly cool the pottery. It produces unique, beautiful textures and colors, particularly a rich earth-tone palette that cannot be paralleled by chemical glazes or other firing techniques. This technique was used in a Teppo-gama (gun kiln) based on designs from 12th-century Korean tunnel kilns, built on the island of Tanegashima, Japan, in 1969. The writer discusses the work of a number of artists who use the Tanegashima firing style, including San San Oizumi-san and Shige Morioka in Japan, and the American sculptor Joy Brown.