I grew up in Groton, MA and in high school was introduced to ceramics. In 2016 I received a BA in Ecology and minor in Religion from Colorado College. Since then my artistic focus has fallen upon wood fired ceramics. I am excited by the infinite possibilities that firing with wood offers and soothed by the process.
My work is heavily influenced by the natural places I immerse myself in. In each of these places wind, water, rock, and wood converge in distinct ways to form unique landscapes. Living things mingle on these landscapes, each constrained by the forces of nature. Working with clay, and particularly wood firing, allows me a satisfying connection to these processes. Encapsulated in a cup are the geological processes that form the clay, the cultural influences that provide form and function, and a personal touch that brings it to life, All of this is a reminder that objects and moments do not stand alone but are connections to all that has come before.
The majority of my work displayed on this site has been wood fired. As per the name, wood firing utilizes wood as its only or primary source of fuel. As opposed to gas or electric firings, wood firing requires that someone be by the kiln through the entire length of the firing stoking the kiln and maintaining the correct temperature. The firings I have been a part of have last anywhere from 1-5 days using up to 4 cords of wood (there are many folk who fire for longer and use much more wood).
Much of the work loaded into wood kilns are unglazed. Surfaces are created from melted wood ash. When wood is burnt the wood ash lands on the pots as it travels toward the chimney. Longer firings and pieces closer to the firebox accumulate more ash. When top temperatures are achieved (around 2300°F) the ash accumulated on the pots begins to melt. The clay body is also affected at these high temperatures. Certain minerals present in the clay interact with the atmosphere and ash giving each clay body a unique color. Temperatures are maintained around 2300° to ensure all ash is melted. When the desired length of firing and amount of ash are obtained the kiln is tightly sealed up. As the kiln cools crystals begin to form in the melted ash and surfaces are created. A kiln that has been fired for four days must also cool for an equal amount of time.
There are an infinite number of wood firing variables that can be played with to provide different results. Type of wood, type of clay, length of firing, shape and design of kiln, kiln loading strategy etc. etc. can all affect how a pot comes out.