Wood-fired Stoneware by Jan Goodland-Metz
McKillop Library's "Hidden Talents"
series is continuing with wood-fired stoneware by Jan Goodland-Metz, art director of publications at Salve Regina University. The exhibit, currently in the library foyer display cases, is the fourth in a series introduced to highlight the varied talents of the university's faculty and staff.
On view are vases, teapots, cups, ornate bowls, plates and useful objects. The surfaces range from flat to glossy, some with leaf imprints, grooves or pristinely smooth textures.
Wood-fired pottery is a high fire ceramic technique taking the reducing atmosphere of the kiln to upwards of 2400° F. Chinese, Korean and Japanese potters of a thousand years ago had already perfected this process. Their kilns known as Noborigamas, or multi-chambered kilns, and Anagamas, or single chambered kilns, took two to seven days or more to fire and then the same amount of time to cool before they were opened.
During the firing of a wood burning kiln, teams of potters work around the clock to slowly stoke the kiln and raise the temperature in increments over hours so as to keep from cracking the pottery and the shelves with sudden increases in temperature. Various woods have differing heat capacities and ash qualities that are used at certain times during the firing depending on these attributes.
There are no knobs and dials. It is a process where the potter learns how to read the flame, the weather, and moisture levels in the air. Also the compactness of the stack of the wares and the thickness of the pieces will affect how the kiln fires and how the potter should be stoking the kiln.
Jan Goodland-Metz earned a BFA from Kent State University and has studied at the American University in Paris, Hiram College, and Salve Regina University. Jan works with Mika Seeger in Tiverton firing the ceramic pieces for murals that are permanently displayed in Rhode Island at Providence's Kennedy Plaza, India Point Park, and Narragansett Beach.
For more information about McKillop Library's Hidden Talents series, contact Lisa Underhill, library technical services specialist, at 401-341-2290 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org