Small Scale Magic

Hi, this is Tim.

I wanted to write a posting today letting you all in on what I've been up to lately.  Many of you have come around asking about my pottery (which I use to sell at the farmer's market) and now sell in some of our local Big Island Art Galleries.  


First off, Thank you!  To all of you who have seen my work, supported my art and come back to our booth looking for it.  Currently I just finished lending a hand to a good friend and fantastic ceramic artist on the Big Island: Clayton Amemiya.  Many of you are familiar with his work and may have seen his work anywhere from Local Art Galleries, Museums, you may recognize him from a short documentary filmed about him last year in April which aired on Hawaiian Airline Flights, or perhaps seen his work in Books related to Wood Fired Pottery like "Wood Fired Ceramics : 100 Contemporary Artists".  

I have had the pleasure of working with him, learning the art of Wood Fired "Anagama" Pottery, and helping out with the firing of his 100 hour+ firing.


Here is the inside of his kiln about 2 days before his latest February firing started.  Nearly fully loaded and organized.   


As I mentioned above, Clayton usually fires his kiln for 100+ hours.  The fire has an insatiable appetite for wood, so the dedication needed is remarkable and the wood piles can be towering.  He has a team of experienced close friends and family members who each take a shift with the fire to ensure everyone can get some rest, but even still, it is an exhaustive process.



After the kiln reaches temperature and he feels there is the proper amount of ash build up on the pieces, Clayton will give the kiln one final stoking and then seal up the front of the kiln.  It takes about 5 days for the kiln to cool.  It is a slow process that helps to vitrify the clay and enrich the colors that were deposited on each piece during the firing.  For a potter, the kiln opening can't describe better than it is like Christmas to a child, like seeing a loved one after an extended time apart, the summit peak to a mountaineer, like wine to a wino or a buffet to a glutton; it is extremely exciting!  



The effects were wonderful!  Pots dripping with heavy ash deposits, bowls and cups shadowed by the dance of the flame.  As much thought and care that goes into stacking a kiln is never enough to predict results, in the end, you must hand your pieces over to the fire for her to dress them as she sees fit.


Here are a few of my pieces that came out of this last firing:



To see more on Clayton and his process, Just Google "Clayton Amemiya"

As for me and my work, I'll be a constant presence in the galleries around the island from here on out, and I plan to work outward from there. Thank you again for expressing an interest in seeing my new pieces. Come see me in person at the Hilo farmers market Wednesdays and Saturdays 7am to 4 and I can direct you to One Gallery; they carry my work and are within walking distance of our booth! 

Aloha! Tim

Written by Ivy Torres — March 10, 2014