Peter Lange & Duncan Shearer(New Zealand)
Duncan Shearer and Peter Lange will be working together to build and fire three spectacular kilns, the Potato Kiln, The Phone Book Kiln and the Wood Kiln:
The Potato Kiln (Friday Evening)
The Potato kiln will be about half the size of the telephone book kiln, and of similar configuration. It can be built on the same table that we use for the Telephone Book kiln the next night. It will be a spectacle of sight, sound, taste and smell to start the festival with!
The Phone Book Kiln (Saturday evening)
Peter and Duncan constructed one in 2005 at the Auckland Studio Potters and fired it successfully (that is, it got hot and fired about a dozen pots to low earthenware). It provided an excellent spectacle and a visually beautiful temporary inferno. After sourcing the phone directories, a couple of heavy beams, a big gas burner and an air blower the construction was straight forward and was based on the Minnesota flat top kiln.
Duncan’s website shows photos and description of what happened: See: http://www.duncanshearer.co.nz/kilnplans/phonebook.html
This time they are aiming for a larger volume and a kiln design that can cope with more pots and reach greater temperatures. They have learnt a lot from that previous firing and built more stability into this new design.
The Original Wood Kiln (Sunday daytime)
Built from wood but fired by gas this approach to wood firing takes its inspiration from the words themselves. A kiln built from a solid log is the ultimate expression of simplicity. Starting with a massive stump Duncan and Peter will fashion a fully functioning kiln and to demonstrate its usefulness, they will also be using it as a raku kiln.
I first became interested in clay as a teenager and when I was 16 took lessons at the Auckland Studio Potters. In 1998 I graduated with a bachelor in 3D design, majoring in ceramics from UNITEC and since then I have been working as a studio potter. I was the Co-Director of the Auckland Studio Potters from 2000 to 2006 and the Manager of the Waikato Society of Potters from 2008 to 2012.
I love the challenge of working within a tradition that encompasses all manner of useful ceramics – the beauty of a mug’s lip, the haughtiness of a jug’s handle are all rich sources of inspiration. I try to balance the urge of constant inventiveness with a consistency and repetition of a form. Currently I fire most of my work in a fast fire Phoenix wood kiln and squirt a bit of soda around to enliven the surfaces and bring an added punch to the colours.
Another fascination I have is with the act or process of building and firing kilns, so I build experimental kilns from a range of materials to see what happens – it’s part spectacle and part science that drives me.
More information can be found at my website: http://www.duncanshearer.co.nz
I have exhibited regularly individually and as part of a group, both in New Zealand and in Turkey, Dubai, China, Italy & Taiwan and have works in collections in these places. I have taken Artist in Residence and teaching positions in five different countries.
I started ‘The Potters Arms’ a cultural, social and political meeting place for artists that ran for nine years 1975 – 1984, and in 1997 became the director of the Auckland Studio Potters’ Teaching Centre, retiring in 2007.
I have explored the ‘super-realistic style’ of ceramics using moulds and casting slip – essentially avoiding the elemental crux of clay – its earthy, rough texture – its clayness. I made trips to the US to watch sculptors working in a similar way and visited Richard Shaw – one of my main influences.
In recent years I’ve moved into the more elemental side of clay that for years I had avoided, experimenting with wood firing, combined with salt, soda and MSG.
Five years ago I began to work full-time in brick. Brick has been a cheap unit of human construction from the beginning of civilisation. In architecture it is rarely used outside its rectilinear constraints. I enjoy softening, bending and sculpting bricks into most unnatural forms.