Ash, Ember, Flame

10 - 22 December 2021, reopening 3 January - February 2022

A photograph of a large ceramic pot inside the anagama kiln, with text reading: Ash, Ember, Flame: a Japanese kiln in Oxford

Discover anagama kilns through ceramics produced in a special collaborative firing of the Oxford University Kilns' smallest anagama, in the Embassy of Japan's exhibition: ASH, EMBER, FLAME: A Japanese Kiln in Oxford.

An anagama kiln (meaning 'cave kiln') is a wood-fired pottery kiln in which the firebox, which contains the fuel, is not separated from the loading chamber, where the pots are stacked. This shared space results in unique decorative effects on the pots loaded in the kiln, which occur by the interplay of ash, ember and flame over the course of the firing period.

Recently a team of potters, community groups and students came together for special firings at Wytham Woods, stoking the kiln 24 hours a day for at least three consecutive days. Most had never fired a wood kiln before, let alone an anagama, which are technically challenging to fire. Firing techniques were taught, and during a collaborative process the pots made for the exhibition were fired - with pieces from a range of contributors ranging from renowned studio potters to school children. Discover these kilns and learn about the wider project through these remarkable objects that have been decorated by the interplay between ash, ember and flame in a Japanese anagama kiln, on display for the first time in the Embassy of Japan.



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