"The fire is a transformative force of nature. The kiln is a tool to cajole, contain, and direct the fire, more than a precise instrument of control. We do what we can to create what is in our understanding the best opportunities for the ware: auspicious circumstances in the choice of clay, turning of forms, and in glazing, stacking, and firing. Ultimately, though, the kiln has the final say, which is as it should be. After all, the conditions inside the kiln are meant for the pots and not ones we humans could survive. We cannot go inside, but stand outside moving things along. The pots take on the kiln's fire for better or for worse. Those do so for the better go on to bring that glow to their user's hands and homes."
~~Mark Shapiro, 1990, from an essay describing the early days at his Stonepool Pottery
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