Smoke Fume Fire

Here are a few photos from the  ‘Smoke, Fume, Fire’ workshop we were a part of this past weekend. There were about a dozen of us participating, novice and experienced clay artists, sharing and learning together under the gentle, inspiring and intelligent guidance of Nova Scotia artist Louise Penz:

The workshop was arranged by the Craft Council of Newfoundland and very efficiently organised by St John’s based artist  Wendy Shirran:

For Fran and I it was a perfect opportunity to learn new techniques that are both low tech and low toxic, simple and playful, spontaneous and unpredictable – just how we like it! and very accessible.

In beautiful surroundings, with delicious food to feast upon, stories swapped, laughter, experiences and knowledge shared, we felt embraced and nourished by the company and the joy of working together in the heat and humidity 9up to 95% humidity).

Thanks to all who took part  and in particular Wendy and Alannah for their cheerful  organisation, Johann for the stunning accommodation – it was such a treat sleeping in the tree house – and of course, Louise, for the mentoring. We have taken away a wealth of knowledge and ideas…

Louise Penz demonstrates how to build the smoke fire kiln
the burnished and bisque fired pieces are placed on bed of wood chips and shredded paper before setting it alight
the ‘tree house’ accommodation – thanks Johann!
placing the sheet of metal on top of kiln
view of the village of Avondale from the ‘treehouse’
the “pots” have had their smoke treatment
dried clay slip that has been applied over bisque fired and acrylic painted bowl before being placed in smoke kiln
pre and post smoke fired samples
the clay slip chips off post smoke firing and reveals what is underneath
applying acrylic using an atomiser
putting on the finishing touches post smoke treatment – wax and polish
talented artist Stephanie Smith’s little seals – burnished and smoked
Nettie & Fran’s pieces – red, yellow ochres (from Australia) …..graphite and bronze colour
Jeanette created this effect by tying dogwood leaf onto piece with string prior to smoke firing
Wendy’s beautiful piece
Prince Edward Island ceramic artist Jamie Germaine – one of the lovely women we met who very generously shared her knowledge and expertise
Louise Penz admiring one of Jamie’s pieces…
hmmm… ancient relic from an archeological dig perhaps ??
farewell to the treehouse….seen in the distance from across the inlet at Avondale, 40 mins north from St John’s Newfoundland

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4 thoughts on “Smoke Fume Fire

  1. Hi Nettie and Fran,
    It was lovely meeting you both this past weekend. The SFF was a great experience and introduction to the world of pottery for me. Again, many thanks to Fran for all your help firing my pieces. Also, I’m honoured that you have posted my tea light on your blog. Oh, and Fran…I’m looking forward to reading your book.
    Hope you both enjoy the rest of your summer!


    1. Thanks Jeanette – a shared pleasure indeed – we really loved your tea light and think you have a beautiful and gentle touch – we look forward to seeing more of your work 🙂


  2. Hi Fran and Nettie,
    Wendy has just sent me some of the groups’ workshop feedback and a connection to your blog.
    The images of our gathering have brought back pleasant (and hot) memories.
    I’ve enjoyed your book, Fran. You’re right….I felt the heat and grit.
    Very best,


    1. Thanks Louise

      we also had a wonderful weekend and found your work and techniques most inspiring enjoy your travels to Australia and if you find yourself down our way with time to spare you know where to find us!

      warm regards

      Fran and Nettie


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