It’s the uncontrolled randomness of the flame, interacting with the clay body in the atmosphere of the moment, that so attracts me. It’s something between chemistry and wizardry and back again. We can do our best to get there with a free-flowing formation of the piece, and then thoughtful attention to glazing in the same manner, but the controlled firing of the electric kiln will inevitably give us back pretty much what we put in. It somehow always tends toward contrived, scripted, rehearsed, confined; controlled is probably the word.
And life is just not like that. Nor should it be! Not family, nor education, or work, or church. The wind blows where it wills, said Jesus of the Spirit, and when we get it, the result is lives lived organic and free, fruitful and beautiful, true to themselves, enhanced by their gnarls and scars and imperfections. Have you noticed – only man-made colours ever clash; it never happens in the garden.
And that’s why I’d spend a R100k on a wood-firing kiln without thinking twice.
Words ~ Gavin Cox