The use of wood as a fuel used to fire ceramics began at the very root of human civilization and culture. Through the years humans have developed evermore complex and varied methods of kiln construction and firing, but the allure of the wood firing process and the results that ensue keep the practice alive, even thriving in contemporary times. Firing with this primitive material has for millennia brought folks together to share experiences, stories and workload. A wood fueled kiln is more than a stack of bricks – it’s a community builder. Friends, neighbors, students and strangers alike seem to flock to such a participatory event with a childlike exuberance when they see the human camaraderie coupled with the intense heat and flames accompanying the final stages of a firing.
This Exhibiton will focus on a handful of early to mid career ceramic artists who utilize wood as their fuel source. It will bring together in one space some folks who are dedicated to this method of firing and community building, as they truly go hand in hand. The artists chosen reflect different methods of making, material use, stacking, firing techniques and outcomes in various types of kilns. All of the artists chosen make extraordinary work, some from the Pittsburgh region and others far away. This exhibition will bring folks together to discuss the contemporary practice of wood firing and highlight some of the artists who are dedicated to exploring and perpetuating this method of firing into the future.
Organized by Scott Cornish