Lisa Skog is a ceramic artist creating raku and wood-fired pottery. handmade and sculptural ceramics, hamilton, ontario.Copyright © Lisa Skog Ceramic Art. All rights reserved.
"A man who works with his hands is a labourer; A man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands, his brain and his heart is an artist "
Wood-fired pottery is fired outdoors using wood as a fuel. Relatively few working potters use wood-firing as the process is very demanding and requires a great deal of time. Wood kilns are also considerably more expensive and time consuming to construct and more difficult to design than most other types of kilns. Depending on the stage of the firing, stoking may take place as frequently as every 3 minutes and most firings last from 14-30 hrs. Most wood kilns are fired by teams of at least 3 people. The potters must pay close attention to all stages of the firing and must have control over both temperature and atmosphere (the amount of oxygen in the kiln). Most wood kilns are fired in a low oxygen atmosphere (called reduction) for at least part of the time.
Some potters use wood for environmental reasons, however most choose wood firing because of the effects achieved from fly ash and flashing. Often the pottery has very little glaze applied and effects are achieved either by the kiln atmosphere or the deposition of melted wood ash. When glazes are applied they interact with the melted ash creating very exciting surfaces.
Weather conditions, wood type and size, type of wares, firing speed, stacking of the kiln etc will all affect the results, creating unique, one of a kind pieces.
I am very fortunate that my local potters’ guild has constructed a wood kiln on my property and I am allowed to use it!