Spring Workshop: Fire Your Pots in a Mountainside Wood Kiln

Instructors Blair Meerfeld and Allison Severance

Woodfiring Workshop
April 21, 28, and May 5, 2018

Potters, have you been looking for a chance to fire your pots in a wood kiln?

This spring’s Woodfiring Workshop is your opportunity to do just that, in a kiln built by the instructors, Blair Meerfeld and Allison Severance.

by Allison Severance

How it works

Bring your pots with you to Highfield Pottery, in the Catoctin Mountains in Northern Maryland. You’ll want enough glazed bisque ware to fill two 12″ × 24″ × 9″ shelves. (Clay bodies should be appropriate for wood firing and salt glazing to cone 11.)

The workshop takes place over three Saturdays, which gives the kiln time to preheat and cool down:

  • Loading: Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 10 a.m.
  • Firing: Saturday, April 28 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Unloading: Saturday, May 5 at 11 a.m.

by Blair Meerfeld

Why woodfiring?

Wood-fueled kilns have a long history and tradition — and they remain in use today because of the beauty of the finished wares. The action of the ash and fire can lead to happy accidents.

“I enjoy finishing my pots in the wood salt kiln because I love exploring the element of controlled chance,” instructor Severance writes on her website. “And I have always been intrigued with, and admired and respected the mystical surfaces of pots decorated by fire, ash and salt.”

The bourry box kiln at Highfield Pottery

The kiln used in this workshop is a downdraft bourry box built by Severance and Meerfeld. The bourry box design provides a smoother surface, perfect for kitchen wares, Severance explained to us.

Future workshops

Can’t make the April 2018 workshop? For future opportunities, keep an eye on our catalog.

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