Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts
Idyllwild Town Crier, July 12, 1984
More Ceramics Bio
Anagama workshop July 22 - August 2, 1984
Joy Krauthammer was a student for two weeks.
Daughter Aviva attended ISOMATA day camp at this time, and also for the prior summer.
Prior summer I studied with Susan Peterson in Raku and salt glaze workshop.
Students chopped trees.
Over five cords of split wood will be fed regularly into the new kiln this week at ISOMATA. Ceramic students till take turns keeping the fire going for three days, day and night. The temperature must rise very slowly to prevent pots from breaking and a new load of wood will go in every 20 minutes.
Kiln builder Fred Olsen had to dig down to create an upward slope. In Japan, this type of kiln is built on a mountainside. The pottery will pick up glaze from woodash and rice hulls during the next three days in the kiln. NY potter Paul Chaleff fired up the Bizen kiln this week at ISOMATA. He and Fred Olsen learned techniques for building a Bizen kiln from Japanese potters who use wood for firing. More than 100 pots made by ISOMATA students and staff were loaded. The kiln built of fire bricks and cement mixed with earth must be heated gradually to more than 2,300 degrees over a steady period of three days.
The Anagama kiln is a tube shaped chamber built partially into the ground that gradually inclines upward from the front fire mouth to the rear exit flue. Traditionally, unglazed greenware is stacked into the kiln and surface treatments are dependent on high temperature, fly ash deposits and charcoal buildup in the choking pits which come into contact with the pieces. This kiln is an adaptation in that it incorporates a second chamber more similiar in design to the multi-chambered hill kilns of Japan. The second chamber can be stacked in Anagama fashion or fired with glazed pieces. The two chamber kiln shares a 20 foot chimney with a fast fire wood kiln.
We stacked the kiln with materials such as rice hull ash and seashells, and fired the kiln to get the rich colors, and patinas and ash glazed surfaces.
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Anagama Kiln stoked 24 hours each 3 days with the chopped wood
© Joy Krauthammer
Fired Pots in the Anagama Kiln
My pot is the tall Anagama directly behind front 4 pots.
The teachers put theirs in the front because the good Anagama pots sell for a couple thousand dollars each.
© Joy Krauthammer
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Ceramics Monthly magazine
Letter to the Editor
by Joy Krauthammer
Text of Letter to Editor is below this page.
text of Letter to Editor is below:
Regarding "Anagama!" in the March issue, I would like to direct attention to the last paragraph written by Fred Olsen. I take exception to his list of "assistants preparing the wood for the first firing." Also assisting with schlepping the wood, chopping and stoking were paying ISOMATA female students" Megan Quinn (Rock Island, Illinois), Claire Hughes (Idyllwild, CA) and myself, Joy Krauthammer (Northridge, CA). The second week Sharon Powell (Stinson Beach, CA) and Lisa Wolkow (NYC) joined us.
I find it interesting that every male involved in the two-week workshop had his body or his pots photographed and mentioned in the aricle, but not one woman was accounted for.
It was difficult unexpected work because the wood had not been prepared (3 to 5 cords) and we all slaved away chopping wood. It was an unwelcome surprise to find that after only three days of potting, our time as paying students would be spent trying to find axes and gloves in this San Jacinto mountain town in order for us to prepare the wood before we stacked and stoked the kiln.
One design I would certainly change on the Anagama is the pit where we had to stand directly in front of the front-loading tube chamber, stoking until the temperature reached Cone 10 (2,300 degrees) over a three-day/night period. Instead, add a pit area to the side of the fire opening.
March 1985 regarding 1984 ISOMATA summer program
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