White Rocks Kiln

Back in my hometown of Pennsylvania, I've sought out my old friends and fellow potters.  In the process of re-connecting, was fortunate enough to receive a position at Carlisle Arts Learning Center as the Ceramics Studio Program Facilitator.  While at the Center, I caught up with a potter friend, Kurt Brantner who teaches at the center, and was invited to put some work in his "White Rocks Wood Kiln".  I've known Kurt since my days of firing the Jack Troy wood kiln at Juniata College and it was a great pleasure to fire with him again.  His kiln, built in November of 2014, is located in the scenic Cumberland Valley area of PA.  As a studio potter dedicated to the process and aesthetic of wood firing, he fires his kiln about every other month.  Pots that are fired in a wood kiln are blushed by flame and ash, each pot responding uniquely to the river of flame moving throughout.  Rich textures are built from ash deposits and melt, glazes flash, and bare clay displays a rainbow of coloration ranging from red to purple.   The labor intensive process of firing the kiln for three days is worth the reward of a kiln full of gems.  

 Planning out the how the pots will be stacked in the kiln.  It's important to consider the interior arrangement to ensure the best effects from the flame and ash.   

Planning out the how the pots will be stacked in the kiln.  It's important to consider the interior arrangement to ensure the best effects from the flame and ash.   

 All loaded up, almost entirely according to plan! Sometimes the pots have a way of telling you where they want to go.  

All loaded up, almost entirely according to plan! Sometimes the pots have a way of telling you where they want to go.  

 Lovely gems from firing number 7.

Lovely gems from firing number 7.

 Kurt Brantner, 2015.

Kurt Brantner, 2015.

 Kurt Brantner, 2015.

Kurt Brantner, 2015.

 Kirsten Olson, 2015.

Kirsten Olson, 2015.

 Kirsten Olson, 2015.

Kirsten Olson, 2015.