PREVIEW – Firing 97 – August 2017
What eclipses the sun? The moon of course. Well, what eclipses the moon? Does the Earth in all its splendors? Of course not, as the planets are interdependent, but I’d have to say, poetically speaking, that we gave it a pretty good shot with the pots that came out of this firing, as it was a firing to eclipse all others! Radiant and warm like the sun, dark and seductive like the moon. Extraterrestrial beauty made by us all here, especially by my star apprentices, Hamish and Stillman, whose skills are shooting forward like comets. We look forward to having you in our orbit this weekend at this intergalactic kiln opening, the wares are so lovely that the barn has become a veritable Venus of pottery!
Hamish Jackson’s pots
It’s been an enjoyable summer at the Hewitt Pottery, with a little extra time than usual to make pots and experiment with new forms. The International Wood-Fire Conference that Mark helped organise took place in Seagrove and provided a chance to see a wide range of wood-fired pottery, listen to talks about all manner of ceramics-related topics, and draw inspiration from the wider community. The “Great Pots” show that Mark curated at the Pottery Center was particularly useful; it contained over 150 pots from the traditions of North and South Carolina. To get to examine some of those old pots up close, particularly the surfaces of Solomon Loy and Chester Webster’s incised decorations, was a real treat.
I enjoyed making some ceramic boxes, egg vases, and rundlets. A rundlet is basically a ceramic barrel which was used back in the day for storing and transporting whisky: a rope could be tied around each end and slung over a shoulder or on a horse. There was a very nice one in the Great Pots exhibit that inspired my efforts. Although a bit anachronistic, it’s fun to try and make old traditional forms.
Thankfully, the main day of firing was not too hot, which was a relief — but the day we unloaded was obscenely hot and humid. It was worth the sweat though — some lovely pots came out. I hope you enjoy them!
Stillman Browning-Howe’s pots
This is my fourth firing at the Hewitt pottery and it felt like the hottest. Growing up in North Carolina I can’t help but love the heat. The intensity of the sun makes me even more driven to complete the task at hand.
Cutting wood in the direct sun, moving as fast as I can in order to finish before getting sunburned. Throwing while it’s so hot in the studio a drop of sweat falls on the belly and splits it. It makes me want to try hard, work faster, strive to do everything right the first time.
Despite being one of the harder shapes we make here at the Hewitt pottery, I’m quite happy with my first batch of creamers and hope you will be as well.