Visiting a fire extravaganza / by Karen Matheis

Artists during a giant iron pour. 

Artists during a giant iron pour. 

I spent this past weekend visiting with artists at a giant outdoor event.  Some were tending huge wood burning kilns, and others were casting iron and aluminum. 

The iron and aluminum pours were impressive as hot material was poured into molds.  At one point, the hot iron was thrown on a wall, making a dramatic impact. 

 Weeks of preparations lead to a two day wood kiln firing. The high heat of these types of kilns allow for unique surface appearance.  Because the wood fired kilns need constant wood feeding, artists took shifts to tend to them.  After the ceramics are fired, they will need to cool for days before results are seen.  

 

A performance kiln burns near dusk.  

A performance kiln burns near dusk.  

The performance kiln in its final stages. 

The performance kiln in its final stages.