New Anagama Building (Kamatsuki)

I have just started my latest anagama project with a new kiln design and working in a secret location in the wood.

 This time I would like my kiln to be very private and personal.  I had a rather bitter experience with people for my previous 3 kilns.  People were curious about my Anagama with their different reasons but did not quite grasp how much hard work involved in anagama building and in producing wood-fired pots.  In the U.K. most people soon got bored and could not bear watching someone work constantly.  They often suggested me some ideas to reduce my laborious work quickly.  I listened to them but still carried on my way of working.  It seemed that I upset them and became their annoyance. 

This is the main reason why I have decided not to invite any visitors (who are just curious) to my pottery. 

I prefer working quietly with a couple of apprentices (who passed my test) and I love having few close friends around my kiln.

About Gas

Hi, I am a wood-fire potter, living and working in the Japanese tradition in Tring, Hertfordshire (UK). Following mediaeval potter's wisdom, I design and build simple wood-fired kilns called 'anagama' for long period of firing and 'raku-gama' for quick (glazed tea bowl) firing. My anagama firing usually takes 9 - 10 days.
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3 Responses to New Anagama Building (Kamatsuki)

  1. Armelle says:

    It’s very difficult looking at the pictures of your kilns to believe the hard work you have to reach for the building. For my part, it is their beauty that touched me.
    Good luck, it’s not easy to keep in secret (sorry for my bad english).

  2. peter says:

    I also would rather fire without spectators. I find that firing the kiln takes all my concentration, and people are mostly distracting. It is useful to have one or two small breaks in the course of the firing, and for this a well trained friend or partner who can stoke for a few minutes is a lovely asset. Fortunately my firings often seem to happen when it is raining (I don’t plan it that way, but it just seems to happen), this puts a lot of people off coming to watch, and it is nice working on a cool day.

    I really love your kilns and your work,

    Best Wishes, P.

  3. I am truly touched and humbled by your devotion and attention to detail. I am a traditional sculptor and Zen practitioner in Rochester, NY USA. Your sentiments about the value of hard work resonate with me.I have wanted to build an anagama for firing ceramic sculpture and hand built forms for years. Your work and labor inspire me to go into sesshin to build and maintain an anagama. How do you lay the bricks by yourself? I was under the impression that laying the courses of bricks during construction requires that it be done in a single day…can you do it all by yourself? I think I will start this summer on a small anagama like ‘Baby Moby’. I will now follow your blog on a regular basis. Gassho, Cody

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