Winter Firing in Sasayama

The first snow of the season arrived while I was at John Dix’s studio in Sasayama.  Next to his studio is a quaint little forest shrine…. the first stop before beginning the week long kiln firing.

It was a real picturesque winter scene around the studio…. where there is a beautiful tea house and wood kiln.

Before the firing began, a special calligraphy was painted by Shiro san, sake was offered, prayers were made to the gods for a successful firing, and then the match was lit……

It was a smooth firing, 24 hours a day, lasting for a whole week…. and the kiln was opened in the New Year!

Here are some of the results of John’s pots…. some beautiful flame markings, nice ash surfaces, and some special hikidashi pots which were pulled red hot out of the kiln in the middle of the firing.  John has produced some remarkable pots using this technique.

I was very happy to be able to fire some pots in John’s kiln. I used some Shigaraki clay for the first time and made a bunch of guinomis (sake cups).  I tested some with shino glazes, but left many unglazed to see the firing effects on the raw clay.  Here’s the collection…..

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