Wednesday, April 1, 2009
This is one of my most unusual pieces. What makes it so is that it was fired in the big noborigama (four chambered, climbing, wood-fired kiln) at the Ceramics Institute in Shigaraki, Japan. This kiln is only fired twice a year by a ceramics group from Kyoto. It was an honor to work with the group through the entire process of making, bisque, three day firing and unloading. A ceramics friend from Denmark and I had a midnite to 6am shift stoking the fire (along with the Japanese fire master). It was an experience I will never forget - and I don't think they will either!
When the mask emerged from the kiln, I felt it was finished. That could be the most unusual aspect of the piece since I normally do three or four more firings to build up layers of color and glaze. This is one mask I will never voluntarily part with!