A stunning one-of-a-kind serving piece by artists Geil and Michal. This piece was fired in a wood-burning kiln called "anagama". An anagama (a Japanese term meaning "cave kiln") consists of a firing chamber with a firebox at one end and a flue at the other.
The anagama is fueled with firewood, in contrast to the electric or gas-fueled kilns commonly used by most contemporary potters. A continuous supply of fuel is needed for firing, as wood thrown into the hot kiln is consumed very rapidly. Stoking occurs round the clock until a variety of variables are achieved including the way the molten pots look inside the kiln, the temperatures reached and sustained, the amount of ash applied, the wetness of the walls and the pots, etc.
Burning wood not only produces heat of up to 1400°C (2,500 °F), it also produces fly ash and volatile salts. Wood ash settles on the pieces during the firing, and the complex interaction between flame, ash, and the minerals of the clay body forms a natural ash glaze. The firing lasts a few days, and demands complex planning and constant supervision. It creates unique coloring and a natural glaze that emphasizes the clay’s natural texture and lends the pieces their singularity.
About the artists: Geil and Michal
Artists Geil and Michal create ceramic pieces according to an ancient technique originating in the Far East. The pieces are fired in a wood-burning kiln called an “anagama”. The firing lasts a few days, and demands complex planning and constant supervision. It creates unique coloring and a natural glaze that emphasizes the clay’s natural texture and lends the pieces their singularity – each piece is absolutely one-of-a-kind. The anagama kiln is built partially into the ground.
The length of the firing depends on the volume of the kiln and may take anywhere from 48 hours to 12 days or more. The kiln generally takes the same amount of time to cool down. Geil and Michal fire their large oven only once a year on "Lag BaOmer", the national Jewish bonfire night.