There is nothing like wood fired ceramics, no other surfacing of ceramics produces the natural, organic beauty that wood firing does. That’s why Suvira fires ceramics in a traditional Japanese-style Anagama, wood fired kiln.
The involvement with materials and fire is elemental - unlike the more clinical approach that most ceramics has become. It is a reversion to antiquity in order to salvage some of the random and previously unwanted fire marks that comprise an aesthetic, rarely appreciated until relatively recently in the west. The traditions of wood firing that have derived from Asian cultures have embraced this raw beauty, in some cases naming every little detailed mark made by the fire.
Suvira’s process requires a commitment like no other. From Harvesting, splitting and stacking wood for weeks, to creating the forms in clay, preparing the glazes and packing the kiln. These steps must be mindfully done over several months before the actual firing and the lead up is a focus of energy which takes the crew into a seventy-five hour firing.
During the firing the kiln is stoked with local Sallywattle firewood, several times an hour, around the clock. Five days later, after adequately cooling, in a scene somewhat akin to the tomb of an archeological dig, the kiln reveals a trove of vessels and sculpture. It will only happen once as no two firings are the same; the marvels of randomness and uncertainty preside.
The dynamism of this process has an underlying attraction that has brought together a small community of dedicated artists from all over Australia and has provided a space for emerging ceramic artists to connect and learn within a supportive network whilst being mentored by Suvira.