Chris Baskin, Pottery, Portland Oregon.
Wood Firing Philosophies
Why wood fire? For me it connects working with people to memories of earlier firings and other fiery experiences.
One component for me is working with my story, weaving together meaning and significance by making something out of this demanding and compelling process.
I have conversations and dialogues begun with this wood fire process that I want to build on and grow from.
Then there is an element of subjecting one’s work to the elements of nature, casting all of your preconceptions, doubts, specific desires into the fire, not knowing what you will get out but knowing it will be the result of your best efforts.
Translating being in the body into an expression of my heart and soul though things I make is a deeply felt metaphor. My energy and the energy of others and of course the energy of the trees is captured, contained, and given visual form in the surface and nature of those pots.
This work expresses something about the physicality of being human; hands and muscles and breath and sweat. Captured are the pleasures and pains of the physical which I experience in this process.
The seasons affect the kiln, and the weather. All of those elements seem to be magnified somehow, captured like in a hologram. Like the blue sky weather on last Friday, and the inspiring sight of Mt. Hood out there ahead, and how good that felt and how tangible and real.
To me this work speaks about mastery over process and using what I have learned and know. Some of the skills in making are important and some of the skills in firing are important. Luck happens yes, and chance, but to be the designer and to have some hand in the outcome of things, that feels like my life.
I make in this fashion to offer something that I can align my story with.