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Woodfire

Facilities & Opportunities at The Clay Studio of Missoula

About Our Woodfire Program & Facilities 

The Clay Studio of Missoula has access to wood kilns just outside of Missoula, about a 15-minute drive away from the Clay Studio. Our Anagama kiln was built in 2007 is approximately 720 cubic feet, and usually fires for 5-8 days. There is also a smaller cross-draft kiln at the site that was built in 2016 that can take up to 2-3 days to fire. Wood firings are not scheduled during periods of fire danger (approximately late May through mid-October) and/or stage 3 air quality alerts.

In order to fire in our kilns, you must be a member, student enrolled in a Woodfire Class, or guest at a special event. Anagama classes are held in the Fall (firing in November) and Winter (firing in March) and in the late Spring in alternating years . We occasionally offer classes for firing the smaller cross draft kiln. Please visit our Woodfire Class and Event Information below for upcoming firing opportunities. 

The Clay Studio of Missoula maintains one residency opportunity dedicated to a year-long wood fire residency. This opportunity may also be extended into a second year upon approval. Interested applicants should have a strong, developed body of work; have previous experience firing wood kilns; feel comfortable directing firings; possess a strong work ethic, and have a desire to work within a community setting. To learn more about our residency program and how to apply, please visit our Residency Information Page.

WOODFIRE CLASSES & EVENTS

Spring Wood Fire Offerings

Instructor: Kayla Noble, Wood Fire Resident Artist
 

Class + Firing

Ideal for those needing instruction and access to facilities. Prior experience with ceramics expected – this class is not for beginning level students

 

Tuesday, 6-9pm, March 26-May 21 -  9 class meetings

Loading May 31- June 3 / Firing June 4-12/ Unload Sunday June 23 / Clean-up day Saturday June 29

$365 members/$380 non-members

 

The class explores the nuanced, demanding, and rewarding practice of wood-firing ceramics. Students will deepen their understanding of the materials used in this process to explore new ideas and possibilities in their work. Conversation will cover technical, formal, and material considerations necessary in crafting work for the wood kiln- such as clay body choices, surface treatments, and various building strategies. We will discuss kiln mechanics, loading and firing, unloading, and cleaning the wares.

Our journey will culminate in a week-long wood-firing in an Anagama-style kiln. Students will learn different stoking patterns, how to control the kiln, manage the coal bed, and effectively work as a team to fire a wood kiln. —
Leading up to the firing, students will spend approximately 10- 15 hours working at scheduled preparation days outside of class time- tasks include splitting wood, stacking wood, and other activities necessary to prepare for a firing of this magnitude.

Students take an active role in firing the kiln by working 3-4 six-hour stoking shifts throughout the firing. The firing is approximately 200-hours scheduled for eight days. The firing may conclude earlier.

Participants will work as a cooperative community striving for a shared experience of learning with a precedent placed on safety and communication.

The wood kiln is located outside at a remote site, approximately 8 miles outside of town. Students should be prepared to fire in all weather conditions and are responsible for transportation to and from the kiln.

 

Spring Firing Only

$210 members/$220 non-members

Participants will work as a cooperative community striving for a shared experience of learning with an emphasis on safety and communication. The firing is approximately 200-hours, schedules for eight days, the firing may conclude earlier. The wood kiln is located at a remote site, approximately 8 miles outside of town. Students should be prepared to fire in all weather conditions.

 

Outside of Class Requirements

 

  • Mandatory attendance of first-class meeting- Tuesday March 26 at 6pm (both class and firing only participants)

  • 10- 15 hours of scheduled preparation. Tasks include splitting wood, stacking wood, and other activities

  • 3-4 six-hour stoking shifts

  • participation at kiln load

  • participation at kiln unload and kiln site cleanup

 

LEARN MORE & REGISTER FOR WOOD FIRING OPPORTUNITIES ON OUR ADULT CLASS PAGE

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