Despite bitter cold and a horrendous East wind blowing last Sunday, my husband and I were invited to the opening of the anagama firing by Richard Brandt and crew. I have attended a firing before, but I had to leave before the kiln was opened. This time though, the previous week the kiln was fired for 5 days -- that is they fed it more than four cords of wood, then sealed it up to cool and Sunday was the opening. This was very exciting as the fire is unpredictable and what went into the kiln may or may not resemble what comes out, depending on the fire, the flames and the placement in the kiln. That is the magic of an anagama firing.
Last Sunday we unloaded the anagama kiln and I must say that it's the best firing I've ever taken part in. The frozen wind and numb hands were not even a bother because the work was so fantastic. The colors are outstanding. The carnage low. Plenty of startling surprises. Everything seemed to fall into place. A labor of love it remains. I am very excited to share this work with you. ~ Richard BrandtWe got there as they were taking the bricks down from the front of the kiln. I was surprised at how orderly it was and the crew was very careful to stack each brick as it came from the door in order for the next people to seal up the front more easily. Then the ash was swept away from the firebox and everything cleaned out before any pieces were taken out. One of the first pieces to be taken out was a little figurine.It was found standing among the ashes in the firebox. It was on the lower front shelf and it had fallen off but remained standing as if it had jumped into the fire.
Here are a couple of photos as the first pieces were unloaded from the kiln:
While everything looks monochrome in these photos, there was plenty of drama and color when the pieces were unloaded. There were so many spectacular vases, bowls, tea pots and sculptures:
I just wanted to preview a few pieces that Richard will be showing at the sale and (modestly) show some of the handbags I made from kimono material that will also be featured at the show.
3826 NE Glisan St.
Portland Oregon 97229
Friday evening opening reception 7-9 pm