The Rapidian

Let's Kiln U

A local ceramic artist shares his passion for clay by building an Anagama Kiln in the lot across from the Fulton Adobe.
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Wozniak and friend, Adena Koslek, debate the best location for fresh kiln bricks.

Wozniak and friend, Adena Koslek, debate the best location for fresh kiln bricks. /Adora Trostle

The nearly completed Anagama kiln. It is still missing its chimney.

The nearly completed Anagama kiln. It is still missing its chimney. /Adora Trostle

A completed Anagama kiln

A completed Anagama kiln /Google Search

Near the Adobe on Fulton artist Todd Wozniak is building a kiln. Having made many kilns before, his entry for ArtPrize 2012 is a performance piece: construction of the kiln is part of the piece. Firing will start by the weekend.

Wozniak chose to make an Anagama kiln. He choose this type of kiln because it presents wood firing in a "weird, mystical way" through its ancient appearance. 

"How could something so old look so damn cool; it hasn’t died out like the dinosaurs," says Wozniak. 

Wozniak says he had very few problems during construction, even with funding/supplies. For example, he went into a store that sold fencing and told them many of the project details. The fencers took him to look at the types, he picked one out, and they gave him a few hundred feet of fencing. 

At the site a tent is set up with a small fireplace. One of the perks to the outdoor location is that his dog, Leo, remains on the premises with him. To have this cozy spot Wozniak had to propose blueprints, data sheets, site plan of the lot and materials to the city fire and maintenance departments. Now that he has it, things like city power lines are avoided and he "keep things out of the street as much as possible." 

It's taking civic precautions such as this for something he is passionate enough about to share with others that earns artists inspiration from, "..the people walking to work in the morning."

 He admits that the phrase "the real prize of ArtPrize is the dialogue it creates" is cliché, but he honestly likes being surprised by all the people who stop by.

"[Some] have to be told very little to know what it is; everybody has a way to relate with what I'm doing."  

He has thought about how the timing of his piece interacts with the judging of the competition but winning was never the reason he decided to build this kiln in the first place. Process is a major part of this project, with timing and ritual playing significant roles. Wozniak admits that it's a Shamanic process. In his gentle manner he adds that he, "doesn't want to press anything on anyone."

Wozniak will definitely be involved in next year's ArtPrize. He is thinking of heating a hot tub. Those wanting to keep informed of what he is up to in the future, Wozniak has a Facebook page.


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