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aberystwyth part 2

updated thu 31 jul 97


stevemills on tue 22 jul 97

The International Potters' Festival 4,5,6th July 1997
Having got my wattle and daub Kiln to ^9 down & ^10 starting
before the fuel ran out, and got some excellent pots out of it, I can
now concentrate on other things and supplement Morris and
Dorothy Davis' fine post on the Aberystwyth Festival.
With apologies for the delay, here goes:
As the trade stands were outside in a marquee, the only events I
saw were the field ones, all of them pyromanticly inclined! Being
a shopkeeper with a passion for fire sometimes works to my
The list of demonstrators outside were as follows:
Nina Hole Denmark : Large Raku structure
Ray Rogers Australia : Pit firing
Micki Shloessingk Wales : Woodfired Salt Kiln
Paul Stubbs UK : Woodfired Salt Kiln
Maxine O'Reilly UK : Fire Sculpture
Nina Hole's piece was truly impressive: She has developed a
modular construction technique which allows her to build her
large ( like 18 feet high) tower forms very quickly. These have
fire boxes at the bottom and are wrapped in fibre blanket and
fired up to temperature when they are unwrapped, usually at
night. very spectacular!
Ray Rogers really needs no introduction, his big pit firings are a
lesson in controlled pyromania. and the results with their subtle
blushes of colour and slashes of black were a joy to behold.
Paul Stubbs built and Micki Shloessingk fired one of the most
efficient wood fuelled salt Kilns (approx. 15 cu ft) I've ever seen. It
had to be held back so that the viewing public could see the
finish after dark. I was most impressed by its fuel economy, and
how little smoke it produced, even at the point of charging the
firebox, normally the time at which the blackest clouds of smoke
are produced. The results when unpacked next afternoon were
very good indeed.
Maxine O'Reilly's fire sculpture was a cone built of green bricks
with numerous spouts all the way up to the top. Maxine was
hampered by the piece taking a long time to dry out, but the late
night (early morning) spectacle was worth the wait.
We returned home and to reality next morning, and look forward
to '99.

PS Ian Gregory is one of ours not Australian!
Steve Mills
@Bath Potters Supplies
Dorset Close
Tel:(44) (0)1225 337046
Fax:(44) (0)1225 462712