Tuesday, February 14, 2012

West Coast Wood Fire: Ceramics Exhibits and Events

Chaire (tea container) and chawan (tea bowl) made by Hank Murrow of Oregon.

“West Coast Wood Fire” is a series of exhibits and events relating to wood fired ceramic art and the culture that surrounds it.  Two exhibits featuring contemporary wood fired ceramic pottery and sculpture by artists from California, Oregon and Washington will be held at the Fire Arts Center and Plaza Design in Arcata. Several world renowned clay artists are featured in the exhibits including three authors of ceramics books, several professors and professors emeriti. The works featured have unique surfaces and ash glazes which occur naturally from atmospheric conditions inside wood fired kilns, which are sometimes fired for up to 10 days at temperatures exceeding 2,300° Fahrenheit.  

A traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony demonstration will be presented by the Horai Center for the Study of Pacific Culture, taking place in the College of the Redwoods Creative Arts Gallery on March 9.  The tea ceremony will highlight the connection between Japanese culture and traditions to the aesthetics found in Japanese folk art and humble ceramic forms such as the chawan (tea bowl).  Japanese folk art (mingei) and wabi-sabi aesthetic has been very influential amongst Western ceramicists who have traveled to Japan to learn their craft, especially in the context of wood fired stoneware and porcelain.  [UPDATE: Location Map]

The College of the Redwoods ceramics department will host guest ceramic artist Terry Inokuma (Oregon) for a two day ceramics presentation and demonstration of her techniques.  Ceramic artist Richard Hotchkiss will also be presenting a short documentary film, “The Climbing Kiln of Woolman Lane” which features a three day wood firing workshop at his kiln in Nevada City, California.  The six chambered kiln is the largest and oldest wood fired climbing kiln in North America and has provided a wood firing experience to thousands of ceramic artists since 1971.

The process of firing ceramics with wood dwindled with the advent of the industrial revolution and following technologies but has carried on through particular facets of tradition and aesthetic.  This labor intensive process usually requires a cooperative effort amongst participants for a successful outcome.  This idea of community is what has inspired “West Coast Wood Fire” and other events like it around the world.  

Thursday and Friday, February 23  and 24, 10a.m. – 3p.m.
College of the Redwoods hosts guest ceramic artist Terry Inokuma (Oregon).
Creative Arts room 136

Friday, February 24, 9 a.m.:
Richard Hotchkiss will give a guest lecture and present the documentary “The Climbing Kiln of Woolman Lane” which features his wood-fired kiln during a 3 day workshop.
College of the Redwoods, Creative Arts room 139
Friday, March 9, 1p.m.
Tea Ceremony Demonstration by the Horai Center for the Study of Pacific Culture held in the Creative Arts Gallery at College of the Redwoods, horai.center@gmail.com

March 2- 31 “West Coast Wood Fire”
Fire Arts Center, 520 S. G. Street, Arcata. www.fireartsarcata.com.
Opening Reception Friday March 9
, 6-8pm (During Arts! Arcata)

Artists include: Mike Beebe (CA,)John Benn (WA) Doug Browe (CA), Rhue Bruggeman (CA), Conrad Calimpong (CA), Richard Carter  (CA), Bonita Cohn (CA), Thomas Fossier (CA), Colleen Gallagher (WA), Bill Geisinger (CA), Kathy Guss (WA,)Colinda Gutierrez (CA),Rod Guyer (CA), Chuck Hindes (WA), Sam Hoffman (OR), Richard Hotchkiss (CA), Glenn  Husted (CA), Terry Inokuma (OR), Lisa Jetonne (CA), Kathy Kearns (CA),  Nils Lou (OR), , Marc Lancet (CA), Diane Levinson (CA), Ron Linn (OR),), Hank Murrow (OR), Fred Olsen (CA), Hiroshi Ogawa (OR),Reid Ozaki (WA), Scott Parady (CA), , Kenneth Pincus (OR), Stephen Robison  (WA),Andy Ruble (CA),  Monique Rutherford (CA), Steve Sauer (WA), Nick Schwartz (CA), Tim Steele (OR), Jules Stout (CA), Al Tennant (WA), Mark Terry  (OR), Mila Visser 't Hooft (CA), Jon Weil (CA) , Jay Widmer (OR),  David Zdrazil (CA)

March 1 – April 30 “West Coast Wood Fire Local Artists”
Plaza Design, 808 G. Street, Arcata. http://www.plazad.com/

The original venue (Plaza Design) for local artists is closing. There are two new venues:

March 1 – April 30 “West Coast Wood Fire Local Artists”
Sewell Gallery, 423 F Street, Eureka. www.sewellgallery.com
Opening Reception Saturday, March 3rd, 6-9 p.m. (During Arts Alive)
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
            Sunday, Noon – 5 p.m.

March 1 – 30 “West Coast Wood Fire Local Artists”
Ironside Gallery, 900, 9th Street, Arcata. http://ironsidegallery.com/category/home-page/
Opening Reception Friday, March 9th, 6-9 p.m.  (During Arts! Arcata)
Hours: Tuesday- Thursday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
            Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Artists include: Conrad Calimpong, Darcy Casagrande, Honoree Cress, Jessica Eden, Rebecca Degagne, Stephen Faletta, Keith Fleury, Thomas Fossier, Ben Freund, David Jordan, Karl Klingenspor,  Peggy Loudon,  Matthew Meil, Scott North, Bob Raymond, Elaine Shore, Shannon Sullivan, Margaret Whitcomb, David Zdrazil

For information, contact Dave Zdrazil at 940-206-5523 or davezdrazil@yahoo.com

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For more, read The Wildness of Natural Process: Wood-fired ceramics and "West Coast Wood Fire" by Jason Marak for the North Coast Journal.
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