Call Detail
PLAYING WITH FIRE: Altered Atmospheres
Saratoga Clay Arts Center
167 Hayes Road
Schuylerville, NY


Contact Email:
Call Type: Exhibitions
Eligibility: National
State: New York
Event Dates: 0/0/00 - 0/0/00
Entry Deadline: 12/4/20
Days remaining to deadline: 2
Images - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 5
Total Media - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 5
Entry Fee (PLAYING WITH FIRE: Altered Atmospheres): $30.00

Saratoga Clay Arts Center seeks submissions of functional and decorative ceramic works by clay artists who play with fire. These works are plucked from altered atmospheres – those changed by wood, smoke, salt or the like. Juror and Massachusetts potter Mark Shapiro writes, “The extent to which firing demands and engages the potter varies broadly, depending on type of kiln, its design, how it is loaded, fired, and even cooled. The continuum from computer-programmed electric top-loaders to gas kilns (in their heating and cooling and reduction cycles), and the many configurations of wood kilns from small “fast-fire” to subway-car length anagamas that fire for a week or more, demand increasing preparation and commitment. Before pots even go into the kiln, there is wood to split, stack, and season, as well as teams of stokers to recruit and organize.

“In physically building the fire and manipulating it as it unfolds—adjusting burners and dampers, varying stoking rhythms and wood types, and playing with the atmosphere—we come closer to the impossible: we stand at the mouth of the forbidden chamber of the glowing kiln and actively alter the surface of our hardening wares. Physically engaging the firing at its source (the burner and stoke ports that make the heat), at the primary and secondary air vents that mix the combustion, and at its exit (manipulating passive and active dampers that control the flow), not to mention introducing sodium or building charcoal, we become palpably connected to the un-survivable interior of the kiln. Our fiddling, stoking, adjusting, and throwing stuff into the fire touches something transgressive, elemental, and essential. These firings perhaps enact the universal myth—Promethean and global—of stealing fire from the gods. We potters are really trying to get away with something.”

Those of you are trying to get away with something, playing with fire, or embracing the unknown gifts of the kiln gods, this exhibition is for you.

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