To me, firing my pots and sculptures is part of my art. It's an important step in my process of creation, and I derive as much satisfaction from it as I do from any other part of the process. I like being hands on with every step of working in clay; choosing it, shaping it, glazing and firing it.
I fell in love with firing clay way back in the 70's when I worked with a production potter. Production potters will often use the same clay and glazes, and fire in the same way so that they know exactly what will happen. Even so, anomalies can happen, as harnessing fire in a kiln is a bit like cooking on an open fire - results will vary based on the conditions.
This is my homemade Raku kiln - I made it with hardware cloth, ceramic fiber and a few firebricks. I'm so excited about this amazing workhorse of a kiln! It's heated by propane and a Venturi burner - you can see it at the burner port above. It will reach 1850 degrees in about 45 minutes. In this photo below it has reached about 1700 degrees.
I love to educate people about clay, and am passionate about how it works; joining it together, kneading it and making it do what you envision - and then firing it.
I am Peggy's sister. I love what she does, and have set out to show off her work! I am the webmaster here at PTCA, and I write some blogs too. My background is in building a values-driven business.