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Kiln Firing at the NC Pottery Center by ECU Students

Posted on 07/22/14

Seagrove, NC - Join us at the North Carolina Pottery Center Friday, August 1, to learn about the wood firing process with East Carolina University students as they fire the groundhog kiln on the pottery center lawn. Also, on Saturday, August 2, there will be a Raku firing demonstration at the center.  These two days of firings are the finale of the summer internships conducted at the NC Pottery Center by East Carolina University Ceramics Graduate students Erin Younge and Devin McKim. They will be available to explain the process and answer questions from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 pm on Friday and Saturday.  

As part of an on-going collaboration between the NC Pottery Center and East Carolina University, Erin Younge, a 3rd year graduate student in ECU’s Ceramics Program, has been interning with us this summer and teaching a number of clay programs for all ages. Devin McKim is a 2nd year graduate student who has been working with local Randleman potter Joseph Sands to learn production ceramic techniques. 

The firing of the groundhog kiln takes approximately 15 hours and uses 2 cords of wood.  “Firing a groundhog kiln is a great introduction to Seagrove pottery,” explains Devin.  “I am excited to be joining in on that traditional style of salt firing.” 

The Raku firing will be broken up into smaller, more manageable batches to fire, remove, and fume - and then repeat with each following batch.  That will give visitors a chance to see finished pieces more quickly than most other types of firings.  Erin says, “I am amazed by the range of color that Raku firings produce. The transformation that takes place in both the clay and the glaze by using simple combustible materials like sawdust or flowers is always a treat.” 

Exhibitions are made possible through the generosity of our membership, the John W. & Anna H. Hanes Foundation, the Mary and Elliott Wood Foundation and the Goodnight Educational Foundation. This project was supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

The mission of the North Carolina Pottery Center is to promote public awareness of and appreciation for the history, heritage, and ongoing tradition of pottery making in North Carolina. 

The Center is located at 233 East Avenue in Seagrove, NC. Hours of operation are Tue - Sat 10 am - 4 pm. For more information, please call 336.873.8430 or go to www.ncpotterycenter.org

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