Anagama

More about Albion Michigan

The anagama is big, with an interior capacity of about 1,000 cubic feet. The kiln is heated by wood and is capable of producing ceramic objects on an impressive scale. There are other types of kilns that are easier to use. The anagama consumes a lot of wood. When the kiln is running at its hottest, it can burn as much as a face cord per half hour. That is a stack of firewood that would be 4 feet high and 8 feet long. With all this capacity, one might wonder what in the world one would use it for. Why would you need a kiln that is more than 50 feet long. After the kiln was constructed 1987, Mr. Shenstone fired it up for a demonstration, and started an October tradition that continues today.

anagama kiln

 

Every autumn potters and clay sculptors gather in Albion for the firing. The artists bring objects they have been preparing all year. A massive quantity of wood has been gathered and the anagama has been readied. For the next 10 days the kiln will run without interruption. More than 2,000 pieces of pottery will be fired during the 240 hour cycle. The kiln requires attention 24 hours per day during the 10 day event. Artists, crafters and volunteers handle the work. The wood has been donated by Albion resident Rusty Hull, who receives artwork in return. Some artists will bring meals. Others will split wood or tend the fire. Their reward is a small space in the kiln where their clay creations will be transformed into gorgeous pottery. Night and day the work, some say party, goes on without a break. At the end, works of art are the reward for all the work. Plain earthenware clay is put in. Beautiful inspired works of pottery come out.