Firing the Anagama

Artist Nancy Fuller – 

“Taiwanese by birth but raised in Scotland, I originally trained as a printmaker.  I discovered wood-fired ceramics when I returned to Taiwan 7 years ago. After preliminary studies I underwent a month-long residency at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Japan. Shigaraki is one of the ‘Six Ancient Kilns’ of Japan and continues to produce its own unique style of wood-fired pottery to this day.

Here I took the unusual step of seeking a local anagama (a type of Japanese wood-fired kiln) master to study under, which led to my introduction to Suzuki Shigeji. A year later, I embarked on training that saw me immerse myself in the language, culture and environment of this ancient pottery producing region. I returned to the UK in 2007, and was awarded a Creative Development Grant from the Scottish Arts Council to build my own anagama in rural Aberdeenshire.

Opportunities to study with Nakazato Takashi at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, US, and the International Ceramic Research Center, Denmark, have furthered my practice in terms of both my technical skills and ideas about wood-firing and has led me to end my firings in cooling reduction.

I continue to be inspired by Japanese mediaeval tsubos (jars) and fire my kiln once or twice a year with a mixture of split pine and beech for three nights and four days, to a top temperature of 1200°C.”

Firing the Anagama

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