Monday, November 5, 2012

A Napa Anagama

Everybody knows of Napa, California for it's wine..  but until now, did you ever know there's some really amazing wood fire potters here?  Turns out.. I found them.  Well, I didn't find them..but I am lucky enough to be near them.

See the vineyards in the back??  Oh yah..quite possibly one of the best views I've seen coupled with an Anagama.

  The "technical assistant" here at the Sonoma Community Center,  an Alfred alum, accomplished carpenter, probably the best potter (as far as throwing skills goes) I"ve been around for a long time... along with a serious group of folks.. have built a super nice Anagama in Napa.   I've fired a few kilns in my short time  here with you all....but still have so much to learn.  These guys, as far as I've seen... load a little differently then the guys in Montana and Utah.  Maybe I'll go into that in more detail later once I can really wrap my head around it.  Don't get me wrong..its not that different..but just different.

What I wanted to talk about is.. is that wood fire folk... are a breed set apart.  I guess it's the reason I love to be around them.  I admire so much about their aesthetic... which is so simply the follwing:  their drive..   their love of food.. love of drink.. and love of life.  The pots are good too, sure, but..  hell, it's just clay.  What's more important than sitting with a group of people eating food, drinking wine and laughing?  I really believe that clay is just an excuse to get closer to other people.

As we sat down to dinner it was more important for us to figure out who was cooking what on what day, instead of working out who would be at the kiln at what times...  I get it.  These guys make the best food I've been around for a long time.  It's hard to describe..and  I'll do my best to document how this unique group of people operate.  It truly is magical...    For the next week the kiln will be firing.  I'll be back and forth from it.. while plugging away at another salt kiln coming up.


  1. Looking forward to the next week's posts...

  2. Pots and good food, good company...who could ask for more?