The aim of this project is to build and fire two traditional Japanese kilns in the heart of Oxford University’s Wytham Woods.
Anagama kilns are a traditional single-chambered, wood-fired kiln constructed on a slope from clay or firebricks, and characteristic of the Japanese ceramics town of Bizen – the home of unglazed tea ceremony ware.
This practical research links both materials and proceses
It is an international forum with active participation from leading UK and Japanese master potters
There will be two kilns, a smaller one with brick base, willow hoop covered in hessian then clay and a much larger brick-built kiln. Once built the kilns will be fired using wood from Wytham Woods. The fire will last for a week for the smaller kiln so this will need volunteers to feed the kiln 24/7. The date for firing is weather dependent but should be last week in July/August.
Ishida Kazuya a Japanese expert potter is artist in residence (Linacre College/Whichford Pottery) is advising on the project and throwing pots for the first firing. Kaz was apprentice to Isezaki Jun, 5th National Living Treasure of Japan, and one of the country's most respected potters.
Co-director Jim Keeling (Whichford Pottery) has been involved in the project from the start and has visited many Japanese potteries. Matthew Blakely has been experimenting with making pots using local clays.