Wood-firing is the most elemental and exciting ceramic process. The pottery is placed in a specially constructed kiln and heated by fire until it is white hot. The process is laborious, but produces highly prized colours and textures.
Wood-firing is unpredictable by nature. As the wood is consumed it leaves ash - the calcium, potassium, iron, and other biological minerals that cannot be burned. The heat of the kiln is enough to melt these minerals, and the draft from the fire blows them around inside the kiln. Wood-firing, in essence, creates a subtle but constant spray of molten glaze that covers the pots. The outcome of the firing is determined by the positioning of the pots in the kiln, the path the flame takes through them, and the gradual accumulation of ash at extreme temperatures. Every wood-fired pot is an individual embellished with equal parts intention and chance.
The wood-fired kiln at Wild Cove Pottery, designed and built by artist Michael Flaherty, is the only one of its kind in Newfoundland. In it Flaherty experiments with locally harvested wood, seaweed, flowers, and fruit to achieve his ash glaze surfaces.