My new ‘Moby‘ has a slightly complicated concept. I wanted to design the best Anagama I have ever built. I also wanted to make it not only functional but also beautiful (if possible). The kiln in the secret woods doesn’t have a roof (maybe I have it next spring) but it already has a wood-fired Raku kiln and a small moss garden alongside. The site is very quiet and peaceful. Only frequent visitors to this kiln are a flock of deer (about 30~40 of them) and other wild animals (foxes, badgers and owls are most common here) at night I can see and smell their presence every time I come back to work. I have tried not to disturb their natural life and have mostly been working with hand tools (I stopped using my noisy chain-saw a few years ago).
Anagama ‘Moby’ is a climbing single-chambered kiln with many mediaeval features and measures just over 20 ft. (about 6.5 m) long. Yhe front of ‘Moby’ is slightly buried as the kiln foundation in the woods didn’t have steep degrees for Anagama, so I had to dig and built a small hill for the smoke channel (also known as ‘Sutema’/a waisting chamber) and the chimney of the kiln.
I love working outdoors and here I just work physically without modern technology. Wood-fired pottery only requires ancient skills. I would very much feel like I am working in the Mediaeval times in Japan if I didn’t hear airplanes passing above the woods.
I don’t miss much of Japan as I have got a small collection of mediaeval pottery at Tring home.
… What I really miss here are steep mountains covered with trees and a morning walk in misty mountain forest paths over there. (Gas)