Wood firing chose me. I have followed an idea(l) more or less blindly for what must be life. I made my life-bed in a forest with a dam, escaping convention. The lure is a freedom to pursue open truths in clay and poverty. Wealth surrounds otherwise. To choose wood firing is to dive head-long into a cool depth of energy flow, a life-world of thermodynamics. No page is numbered. My first encounter was attempting to bisque fire using 200 common bricks in 1976. A photocopy of brick layout for this wood kiln was floating around. There was no text. Long flames proved deadly. Serious wood firing began four years later under Alan Peascod at ANU with a Bizen kiln and a force-draft salt kiln. Unfortunately I now have too much choice in wood kilns. What I come to believe for one kiln does not necessarily carry. I prefer the anagama and the down-draft lustre, eight days and under two. Time is the magic dimension here, passaged from within. I dream of gas.
Born Canberra ACT. Initial training, Canberra Potter’s Society; Dickson College Pottery Major; Canberra School of Art, 1980-1982. Teachers Terry Moore, Alan Watt, Alan Peascod, Owen Rye, Hiroe Swen. 1993, moved to Tanja, far south coast NSW to set up pottery, build anagama and other wood kilns. Career highlights: 2004, invitation to The Naked Truth International Woodfire Conference, Iowa, USA; Major Award, Sculpture by the Lake, Jindabyne, NSW; 2006, invitation to Mashiko International Ceramics Festival, Japan; 2015, Artist-in-Residence, ANU Sculpture Workshop, Canberra, ACT (Award). Group exhibitions: Australia, New Zealand, USA, Japan, Latvia. Publications include: The Art of Woodfire, Mansfield Press, by Owen Rye (2011); Sticks, Stones, Mud Homes, Granta Books, by Nigel Noyes (2004); two international magazine covers (2010, 2011).