Thursday, February 17, 2011

Missoula, Montana.

For the last 6 days I've been in Missoula, Montana, loading and firing an Anagama with my good friend from school, Danny Crump. Danny has been at the Clay Studio of Missoula for the last two years as the wood-fire resident..and this is his last firing before he takes off for the next part of his never-ending adventure in clay- which is actually taking him back to China. Since Danny has been at the Clay Studio, he's helped rebuild this Anagama and get it firing like a dream, built another kiln that's tied to the same chimney that he calls the "hatchback", a type of Train/Cat/Anagama hybrid..which actually fires pretty nicely. Not to mention he's had a big impact on the local community by teaching classes and getting involved in other areas.

The loading took two days, mostly due to the short amount of light..and also to give our backs a break and wet our whistles at a local bar.

It was a good load and we had more work then we thought.. most of it got in..which left the firebox a little cramped. But as of this morning only a few things had been knocked or cracked..and it mostly seemed to be rolling along nicely as cones dropped and side-stoking commenced. I would have stayed..but I have so much work to get done around here in preparation for the kids classes starting, Feb 22nd- next week!!!

I made mostly smaller sized pots for this firing. But check this thing out.. This is Danny's "door". It's roughly 7 feet long, 4 inches thick and weighs something like 350 pounds. It was a ball buster to load (bone dry) into the kiln without it cracking.

The thing I love about Danny, when it comes to his clay, is that he's willing to take big risks to push himself. He thinks big, goes big and just goes for it like a true cowboy. Lucky for him though he's got fellas like me and the rest of his super awesome crew out there with strong backs to get this into the kiln. I hope this piece turns out..and hopefully, by the 28th I'll have a post of the unloading and finished pots.

Breakfast anyone? Nothing like a hot meal when you have to start that 6 am shift in 20 degree weather.

Before I left early this morning, I snapped a shot of the sunrise beyond the kiln. What a gorgeous morning..and what great weather for the load and 2 day pre-heat.


  1. now thats kiln stylin big!!! i'll be back for the unload.. happy firing..

  2. Miss you guys! I hope the firing goes well! Wish I was there! Give Crump a squeeze from me!)

  3. Freedom Fighter: So good to see you and Crumpet still hangin' out. The door in Jingdezhen rez will never forget the pair of you. hugs, tc