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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 4-5 days. There is also a smaller cross-draft kiln at the site that was built in 2016 that can take up to 2 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). We occasionally offer Spring session classes for firing the 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.


Spring Wood Fire Offerings

Spring Wood Fire- A New Approach

This class is suitable for students with handbuilding and throwing skills that have had previous experience with a wood fire class

Tuesdays, 6-9pm /  March 28-May 30
Firings will take place 4/28-4/30 & 5/26-5/29 in the smaller cross draft kiln, with other possible slot TBD

$345 members/$360 non-members


This woodfire class will be very different then prior classes. Instead of working towards one firing in the large anagama, students will have the opportunity to fire in the small Crossdraft Wood/Soda kiln 2-3 times over the course of 10 weeks. The focus will be placed on smaller scale works, functional pottery, atmospheric flashing, and glaze effects. This opportunity gives intermediate and advanced students a chance to gain familiarity with a kiln that can be easily fired over the course of just a couple of days.


Students will be expected to spend some weekend time at the wood kiln helping to prepare for firings by splitting and stacking wood and will take an active role in working firing shifts in teams. Participants will be expected to attend two wood prep days and four 6 hour firing shifts outside of class.

Wood Fire Invitational

About the Wood Fire Invitational

Wood Fire Artist in Residence, Grayson Fair, has invited a variety of established and emerging talent in the ceramics field to take part in our final Spring Anagama Wood Firing. Approximately three dozen artists will load and fire the anagama at the beginning of June, and our June exhibition will feature works by Wood Fire Invitational artists.


In conjunction with the Invitational Firing, we will be offering two workshops with a select grouping of Wood Fire Invitational guests. These offerings will our community a chance to engage with visiting artists who will introduce new techniques and approaches to clay to workshop participants.


Offerings are listed below. Space is limited so be sure to secure your spot as soon as possible!

Reduction Cooled Soda Fire Workshop - With Johnny Arvizu & Augusta Smith

Saturday June 10 & Sunday June 11 + Kiln Unloading on Tuesday, June 13


This workshop is a great opportunity for intermediate and advanced level students to learn about the process and possibilities of reduce cooling a soda kiln, a technique not often practiced in traditional soda firings at The Clay Studio of Missoula. This intensive workshop will cover the following: wadding techniques, glazing, flashing slips, loading techniques, and firing/down firing.


  • Workshop participants will bring up to fifteen bisque fired pieces, max size being 8”x8”x8”. Smaller pieces usually always get in. You are welcome to bring more pieces, with the knowledge that everything getting loaded is not a guarantee.

  • Bisqued work made from cone 10 clay only

  • bring a respirator!


Saturday, June 10 – 10am-5pm

Glazing Work & Loading Kiln

location: Clay Studio of Missoula main classroom & kiln yard

  • Discuss glaze/slips that are used and why use them for this style of firing

  • Discuss decorative wadding/techniques

  • Load soda kiln

  • Discuss the importance of tactful loading inside a soda kiln to achieve desired effects. 

  • Candle kiln 


Sunday, June 11 – 10am-5pm and beyond

Firing & Demonstration Day

location: Clay Studio of Missoula main classroom & kiln yard

  • Firing kiln, description of what is happening in the kiln at certain critical temperatures.

  • Demos as time permits

  • Spend time describing the various techniques of introducing soda.

  • Towards the end of the firing, we will start to downfire and re-oxidize at specific temperatures. 


Tuesday June 13– 3-8pm

Kiln Unloading Day

location: Clay Studio of Missoula kiln yard

  • Kiln unload/cleanup

  • Observe how the work reacted to the atmosphere and loading techniques learned on day one.


Cost- $265/$250 members.

Includes all workshop content, firing fees, glazing materials for workshop.



Sign up now to guarantee your spot


TO ENROLL: In person, by phone (406-543-0509) or register online 



Re-Action - Wood Fire Artist Demonstrations with Augusta Smith & Heidi Kreitchet

Saturday, June 17, 10am-5pm

location: Clay Studio of Missoula Annex, 1110-C Hawthorne


Join us for this unique one-day opportunity to watch and engage with two of our visiting Wood Fire Invitational artists. This demonstration with Augusta Smith and Heidi Kreitchet will consist of three components. Both artists will work side by side showcasing their wheel throwing and hand building techniques while their collaborative pieces will develop between them. Gus will demonstrate teapots, and throw larger, traditional forms. Heidi will create sculptures with the extended pinch technique as well as show how she uses a pallet for creating her abstract sculptures along with her hand-built attachments.


The third component of this demonstration will bring the two styles together spontaneously, as Heidi alters and adorns Augusta’s vessels, allowing the audience to see the origins of the collaborative collection.


Cost: $120/$110 members

TO ENROLL: In person, by phone (406-543-0509) or register online


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