Teaching a Woodfiring Class at John C. Campbell Folkschool

Teaching a Woodfiring Class at John C. Campbell Folkschool

I am excited to announce that I will be teaching my first ever class at John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina this coming year, March 10-17, 2024. Please consider signing up for the class~

For those of you unfamiliar with the John C. Campbell Folk School, is based on Danish Folk Schools and has a 100 year history of teaching art practices and much more. It is nestled in the Appalachian Mountains and hosts around 900 classes in arts, crafts, cooking, foraging and many more. To put it more succinctly,  it's art camp for adults.

 Here is a picture of the campus:

Landscape view of John C. Campbell Folk School

 My Background in wood fired ceramics begins in Henan, China where I did my MFA graduate work. I lived and worked at a ceramic factory and kiln museum of the different historical kilns. In this way, I got to witness and participate in the firing of many different styles of kilns from the very beginning.

I continued studying woodfiring during my Ph. D studies in Japan. Every year the studio would come together and fire the Noborigama - the climbing kiln. We fired it over the course of three days, taking shifts.

These days, I help lead firings at Mighty Mud Studios on a train kiln. These firings tend to last anywhere from 24-40 hours and we have 4-6 people participating.

I plan to bring my background in Chinese and Japanese firing techniques to my class at the folk school. Beyond learning foundation theoretical knowledge about wood firing, I plan to go into the history and culture of it as well. The class will have a collective structure, in which students learn together and help each other to understand the practical experience of what it takes to successively fire this ancient technology. More to the point, students will learn how to make wadding, make glazes, prepare shelves, load the kiln, fire the kiln, and unload the kiln, as well as kiln maintenance. 

Students can expect to learn a lot of theoretical and practical experience in this class, which will not only leave you with work of your own that has been fired, but also information that will allow you to take the next steps in your own wood fire educational journey.

I'm really excited to be teaching this class at the folk school as its structure and mission very much remind me of my training in China and Japan. It's focused on a collective experience that really creates strong connections between people.

Please contact me if you have any questions, I look forward to seeing you in class.

Here are some photos from a recent wood firing I assisted with at the folk school:

Students Making in the Studio Students making in the Studio

View From the Studio Porch View from the Studio Porch

Students Glazing Work Outside Students Glazing Work Outside

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