please keep the fire buring

A collection of work made at home for the fire.  

A story that needs to sit beside the body of work you’re about to see. It’s been 10 years since I took my first pottery class and for those 10 years I have been dreaming of putting my work in the fire. The desire has grown with every piece I have made, every trip I have taken to Japan, every time I see work that has been put into the flames. Theres something so beautiful and meserising about a piece that has been caressed with fire for days. You can read the path the flame has taken and how the ash has fallen, gathered and pooled in the bottom of the vessle. The flame forever marked on the clay, telling it’s story if you care enough to take a closer look.

14/12/22 -
1280 degrees celcious was the magic number and the only way to get there was to keep giving and denailing and giving. You wouldn’t believe it but it just started as a small fire outside the kiln and then you move it within and the more love you gave it the higher the numbers climbs and climb it did. We gave ourself 18 hours to get to 1280 and as the 18th hour tikcked by and I looked up and read the tempurure at something around the 800 mark I shed a tear. You just keep stoking until you can’t pull another nail out of an old fence pailing anymore. So you stop, take a deep breath, cry of shear exaustion, then check the pyromiter (again) and you have to keep going. The fire demands more wood and your heart can’t phamothom to see the temperature drop so you give and give to the fire. And you repeate it so many times it becomes rhyamatic and you keep going to see it burn hotter. The rhyman continues for 27 hours. We didnt give up, we made it. Hands battered and bruised as well as the soul and you’re beyond exhausted but you did it. 27 hours later and 1280 degrees celsius reached, with the only telling sign of hitting that temperature in the perfect arch of cone 9. We gave yourself to the fire.

Three gruelling days I had to wait to de-brick the door I’d just stacked up 5 days prior. With some much needed rest the excitement was building up inside me. I couldnt wait to see what the fire had done to my work. I felt like I’d waited 10 years for this moment

I hope you and see and feel all the love in every piece because it was an immense labor of love to get this work here. Thank you for looking, t x


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Tanika Jellis © 2023