Saturday, February 26, 2011

the Wilson Train and Crew

Welcome to another part of Montana wood firing. I have the pleasure of working along side one of the best wood fire gals in the business today, Tara Wilson. she's pretty cool.. enjoys a shot of whiskey at 2 pm, a strong cup of coffee any time, a love for delicious food, better company and some serious skills when it comes to pottery.

We're here, in Montana City, which is just south of Helena. Tara built her studio a few years back and the kiln a couple of summers ago. At some point, I helped..and have been involved in several firings since then. It's a great studio with enough room for 3 people to work comfortably. There's a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom to boot. You can see it here, which is looking south. Tara's made her home and studio available for any friend..and she never seems to have a lack of new people to meet and learn from. Here are the people involved for this firing:

This is Morgan. He's super funny and makes some killer birds. During most of the year he's involved with a company called Winding Waters, based out of Joseph, Oregon. During the summer months he guides river trips and during the winter he guides back country skiing. He's sort of new to the wood firing game, but he's learning quickly. There's a quality that I love about Morgan's's honest and it makes me smile. A river trip with this guy would be super fun.

Here's a shot of us during the loading. It was pretty damn cold most of the day.... but it could have been a lot worse. See the guy with a huge beard? That's Caleb. Caleb works as a potter during the winter months and for the summer months he works for the Forest Service. All around good guy, I'd say. I've fired with him before and look forward to another one.

The big guy in the red flannel is from Missoula, one of the current residents at the Clay Studio of Missoula, Larry Phan. I've never fired with him before but definitely appreciate his hard work collecting more side-stoke while the rest of us took care of the loading. Many hands make light work. Also something that I just realized..we both used the same program to build our websites and the same setting within that program. Check his then check mine, it's sort of funny.... His girlfriend is here with him and was a huge help during the loading, even though she didn't have any work in it.

The last guy, Ryan Mitchel, is from Bozeman. I've met him before..but never fired with him. The beard is much shorter this time... He's involved in the community over in Bozeman working at the Emerson Center for Arts and Culture. I'm looking forward to picking his brain a little bit more about what his life is like over there.

Another gal, Lindsey is here helping and is sharing Tara's studio. I'm sorry to say I don't have a photo or very much information on her. She had to leave early tonight because she's a waitress at the local tap, Millers. She's from the Chicago area and as far as I can see is pretty dedicated to ceramics.

Nice crew, huh?

Tomorrow I'm headed back to Missoula to unload the Anagama!!!


  1. Great blog Bobby! It was good to meet you at Taras, hopefully we will see you soon.