Artist: Thomas A. Arakawa
Description: This tea bowl vessel was wood fired in U.S. The pot was thrown on the wheel and fired in Phil Park’s Spring Valley Nobori-gama soda wood fire kilns in Milpitus, CA. The nobori-gama soda firing was 4 hours of loading, 30 hrs firing with oxidation shutdown method and 4 hours of unloading. Loading pottery in the kiln was done carefully with consideration of the distance between pots and the direction of the pot which effects flashing color and the location of the kiln which effects carbon trapping, flashing, amount ash and soda deposit. A combination of pine, oak and red-wood was used for the firings to achieve a desirable color of ash and flashing. The temperature reached cone 13 (approximately 2450F) at most part of kiln. Teams of 8 to 15 people were participated in each firing. I participated in all process of the firing: preparing wood, repairing kiln, loading, firing and unloading. Pumice celadon glaze has been used as liner glaze.
The post-firing finish work has been applied to the piece. The nature of wood firing and wood soda firing provides a runny natural ash glaze but also the ash deposit is not controlled. Designs of pot and loading is effective to control the ash deposit. However, the post-firing finish work is required for functional ware. The feet of the pots are smoothed with a grinder and 5 different grades of sandpapers. A transparent enamel paint has been applied to the smoothed surface to match the flashing color on the clay surface.
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