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“Community of Fire” Showcases Wood Fired Pottery

by Borderstan.com — August 17, 2010 at 11:26 pm 0

Foundry Gallery Dupont Circle

Pottery pieces on display in the “Community of Fire” exhibit at the Foundry Gallery, 1314 18th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Cecile Oreste of danceDC

“Community of Fire: An Exhibit of Wood Fired Pottery” is on exhibit at the Foundry Gallery in Dupont, featuring a variety of pieces created by members of the DC Wood Fire Potters group.

In addition to displaying more than 100 pots, the exhibit also educates viewers about the unique process of wood firing. First is a video presentation and talk at The Foundry Gallery on Friday, August 27, 6 to 8pm. Next is a potter’s workshop at Hinckley Pottery on Saturday, August 28, 7 to 9:30 pm. Both events feature Kevin Crowe of Tye River Pottery. Pieces in the exhibit are on sale through the final day of the exhibit, which is Sunday, August 29.

Michael Pappas Laura Toscano Foundry Gallery wood fire pottery

Michael Pappas and Laura Toscano display their work at Foundry Gallery. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Work at the Kiln

Twice a year, the pottery collective meets at Crowe’s kiln in Amherst, Virginia, to create the pottery. Members of the collective work in shifts around the clock for a week stoking the kiln until it reaches 2,400 degrees. The fire’s heat and ash interact with the surface of the pots, leaving beautiful trails of flame and ash glazes along with occasionally unexpected results.

According to Michael Pappas, who has been a potter for nearly a decade and has been part of the collective for five years, the aim of the exhibit is not only to display the pottery, but also to raise awareness of this method of firing in the District.

“It’s not the type of pottery you usually see in the city,” Pappas said. “We wanted to help bring wood fired pottery to DC and I think this exhibit does that.”

Laura Toscano, one of Pappas’ students and part of the group, said that the accompanying photographs and explanations of the wood firing process provide a sense of escapism for viewers: “I believe they have the power to slow you down and transport you out of city life for a moment.”

In addition to pottery from Crowe, Pappas and Toscano, the exhibit features wood-fired pieces from Joy Bridy, Bradley McLemore and DC resident Eileen Egan. The exhibit has support from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

For more information about “Community of Fire” and the DC Wood Fire Potters group, visit their Facebook event page. The Foundry Gallery is at 1314 18th Street NW, south of Massachusetts Avenue. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday, 1 to 7 pm; and Saturday-Sunday, noon to 6 pm.

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