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Woodfiring: Lessons Learned

Woodfiring:  Lessons Learned

On a recent Mud Colony Road Trip to Inverloch, we visited two woodfiring potters!  It was amazing to see their studios, kilns, and the beautiful woodfired pottery!

The lessons about woodfiring learned are:

The wood that is used is CRITICAL!!!

Too much stoking and you will NEVER get to temperature.

Glazes are NOT required!

Wadding impressions on the pieces can create the art.

In a previous post, A Pottery/Girls’ Weekend, I wrote about my expectations for this trip:

“The weekend should be wonderful – plans are for food, chocolate, wine, pottery, and making friends!  What more could you want! We hope to do some of this and who knows what else!”

Well, I wasn’t wrong! We had great food from Victoria Market.  We had wonderful chocolate from Koko Black and from Anna!  Wine from Adriana’s uncle! Tons of pottery viewing!


And, for me! making friends was at the top of the list!  I had only met Adriana previously.  The rest of the girls were completely new to me and me to them! I think it was marvelously successful!

Mud Colony Group-(L-R) Kim Foale, Anna Ryland, Truly Southurst, Marian Williams, Sadhana Peterson, Adriana Christianson

Mud Colony Group-(L-R) Kim Foale, Anna Ryland, Truly Southurst, Marian Williams, Sadhana Peterson, Adriana Christianson

The first studio that we visited was Rob Barron’s Gooseneck Pottery.

Rob talked with us a length about his firing process and showed us his kilns.

His pots are truly amazing!

We also visited Zak Chalmers at Valley Plains Pottery.  It was a smaller, gentler kind of woodfiring and seeing his process, smaller kilns and the beautiful results was amazing!

Zak also demoed throwing for us with the help of 2 of his 3 children!  So cute! But they would make throwing a bit difficult!

Zak’s kilns are much smaller, so it was fascinating to hear about them, as this made building and firing a wood kiln on my place a possibility for the future!

His work is absolutely stunning and the setting is too!

We ended up with some gorgeous pieces and my purchase sort of looks like boobs!  Thanks for noticing Truly!

Truly Southurst with my BOOB Platter from Rob Chalmers!

Truly Southurst with my BOOB Platter from Rob Chalmers!

Our Booty!

Our Booty!

Another thing I wrote about in a previous post, A Pottery/Girls’ Weekend, was MY Personal expectations for the trip:

“…these times away REALLY allow you to assess WHERE you are in your work, personal life, and general state of being.  The silliness, laughter and freedom to just CHILL (in a very frantic potters’ way) is good for the soul!” 

We did have lots of silliness, laughter and freedom to CHILL-in exactly the way I imagined!  A very FRANTIC POTTERY WAY!!

I did get to assess where I am in my work-no way where I want to be:

New resolutions:

Don’t be afraid to make the stuff in my head.


Stick to my plan for glazing-get better and bigger!

Use all the resources at my disposal.


A great big thank-you goes out to Adriana Christianson who organized this trip!  Amazingly fun and wonderful!  Join us on Mud Colony!


Written by Marian Williams


  1. Adriana · June 14, 2013

    Wonderful post Marian!! I’m still recovering x

  2. Sadhana Peterson · June 14, 2013

    Lovely post after a lovely weekend xx

  3. ang · June 14, 2013

    what a brilliant idea…roadtrip anyone?

  4. Anna · June 17, 2013

    a great post Marian.. great memories and hope to meet up again before too long… some where warmer?

  5. Kim @ Frog Ponds Rock · June 17, 2013

    YAY. and I am planning a trip up to see you 🙂

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