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  • Invisible by PAINTER8

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Please join us at PAINTER8, and other Edmonton art lovers alike, for the..
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  • 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour

    Location: Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

    The 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour is an event you don’t want to..
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  • Wheat Centrepiece Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Join this class to learn how to make a didukh-style centrepiece that can..
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  • Oil Painting for Beginners Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Join this fun oil beginner class to unleash your creativity. Learn about the..
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  • Radio Silence

    Location: Quebec city, QC

    Québec, August 19, 2019 – Folie/Culture invites all those who express themselves through..
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  • LOOK AGAIN!

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    LOOK AGAIN! PAINTINGS BY KATHLEEN SLAVIN AND GAIL PRPICK AT UNIVERSITY..
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  • Pushing Boundaries 2019 Call for Artists Announced

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    North Van Arts is seeking professional and emerging First Nations/Métis/Inuit artists, makers and..
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  • CALL TO ARTISTS - “XPOSED: Humans vs. Planet Earth”

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    CALL TO ARTISTS - “XPOSED: Humans vs. Planet Earth” We are looking for unique..
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  • Watercolour Workshop with Frank Townsley

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Sunday 22nd September 10.00 AM - 5.00 PM ..
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  • Call for Illustrators

    Location: Winnipeg, MB

    Call for Illustrators HighWater Press, in conjunction with the University of Winnipeg’s Six Seasons..
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  • Call for Artists + Photographers – $550.00 Innovate Grants

    Location: , QC

    Innovate Grant is now accepting submissions for Summer 2019. Innovate Grant awards (2)..
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  • Figureworks 2019

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Figureworks 2019 Call for Artists The call for submissions to the 10th annual juried..
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  • Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition consists of works from internationally..
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  • Quasi-Nature

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present Quasi-Nature, a group exhibition curated..
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  • Call for Installation Artists - Yonge + St. Clair Annual Fall Art Festival

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Calling all artists and designers! We’re seeking proposals for outdoor art installations for..
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  • Sculpture in Paper Masterclass

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Sculpture de papier avec Ray Besserdin Cette classe de maître permettra aux participants d’apprendre..
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  • ‘Scapes Art Exhibition & Sale

    Location: WINNIPEG , MB

    Please join me and artists Elena El, Linda Oleschuk and Connie Wawruck-Hemmett at..
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  • North Van Arts Fundraising Gala

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    Join us for North Van Arts 50th Anniversary Fundraising Gala & take a..
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  • North Van Arts 50th Anniversary Exhibition

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    July 25 - September 7, 2019 You are invited to join North Van..
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  • Call to Western Canadian Public Art Consultants / Curators :: Lewis Farms Facility & Park

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Call to Western Canadian Public Art Consultants / Curators :: Lewis Farms Facility..
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  • Fraser Valley Artists- Donate your work to support mentoring!

    Location: Abbotsford, BC

    On September 26th, 2019, Big Brothers Big Sisters will be hosting a Harvest..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • Unsettling Nature

    Location: Toronto, ON

    An Exhibition at: The Garage Gallery Benmiller with Artists Jill Price, Leslie Putnam, Morag Webster..
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  • Through the Eyes of a Child

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    Artists Statement: Ed Flanagan My wife had a career as an elementary school..
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  • Exposition solo Lac-Mégantic

    Location: Lac-Mégantic, QC

    L'eau, une mine d'Art du 8 juillet au 8 septembre 2019..
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  • 13th Solo Art Series -

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces its 13th “Solo Art Series”..
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  • Call for Art | 3rd Annual Skies Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 3rd Annual Skies online art competition. For this..
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  • 9th Annual Online Exhibition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • Sustainable Fashion Designer Looking for Studio Space in Mississauga

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    Hi, I'm Amanda, I am an emerging fashion designer starting my business designing..
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  • “Water” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline August 31, 2019

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Water nourishes, cleanses, and renews. A drop of water can save..
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  • 32 Points- 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace

    Location: Toronto, ON

    32 Points - 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace International Exhibition September 6-27, 2019 Cedar Ridge..
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  • Air

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    AIR: A mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and minute amounts of other gases..
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  • The Clock Show

    Location: London, ON

    CALL FOR ARTISTS ..
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  • Raw Materials

    Location: Humboldt, SK

    Raw Materials James M. Clow and Bony A. Conly Exhibition runs May 31st through August..
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Gordon Hutchens and Fired Up!

By Robert Amos June 2, 2003

} Gordon Hutchens and Fired Up! Fired Up! is a venerable gathering of some of the finest ceramic artists of this region, held for 19 years at the Metchosin Community Hall (4401 William Head Rd. at the corner of Chosin and Happy Valley Roads). In 2003 it took place May 24 and 25, from 10 a. m. to 5 p. m. Eight of the Fired Up! potters met at Gordon Hutchen¹s place on Denman Island and over three or four days did a wood firing of his Japanese-style kiln. A few years back Gordon Hutchens helped construct a Japanese climbing kiln, or noborigama, a Malaspina University College in Nanaimo. It was a huge success and inspired Hutchens to build his own on Denman Island. Yukio Yamamoto, the designer of the Malaspina kiln, lived with Hutchens for some months while it was being constructed. Specifically, it's an anagama - a kiln built into a hill slope, angled up at about 22 degrees. This type of 'climbing kiln' was used in the Himeji area of Japan from about 1600 until the late 1700¹s. The Fired Up! potters brought pieces with them which were already bisque-fired and ready for loading. 'We spent all day Friday loading the kiln,' Hutchens informed me. In all there were about 350 items in this ensemble, and Hutchens spent much of the day inside the kiln, arranging them for the firing. The kiln itself is 4.5 feet high, 5 feet wide and 14 feet deep. 'It's like an upturned boat,' he commented. The arched top of brick is shiny with the glaze of previous firings. 'Starting at the back of the kiln, you have to arrange things according to how a flame will travel. There is a long finger of flame that travels right through, and you have to create paths around the pots, and consider their relationships to one another.' This is clearly a subject that fascinates Hutchens. 'It's critical, the heat flow, because the flame is laden with wood ash. It licks each piece, painting it with ash as it winds its way around.' The kiln is really an extensive chimney. There are air intakes at the mouth of the kiln, where the wood is piled on a grate to burn. But the ash never falls through this grate - it is sucked up by the hot air and follows the flame up through the kiln. Eventually some of it comes out the eight-foot chimney up the slope. Most of the ash stays in the kiln. In a three-day firing Hutchens used 4 to 5 cords of wood and the ash was largely distributed on the pots. It's a cumulative process with every stoking of the fire. 'Think of the ash as minerals,' Hutchens suggested. 'They don't burn, they melt. The calcium, potassium and sodium vaporize at high temperatures and waft with the flame through the kiln. Blushes and flashes result, including 'peach bloom' surfaces and a whole range of effects from light to dark, relative to the direction in which each piece faces. The more intense colours are shaded to leeward. Each piece tells the story of the flame.' The eight potters began with a smaller fire and slowly picked up the pace. Working in shifts, they tended the fire 24 hours a day, for 3 days, stoking every ten to fifteen minutes. With every load of wood, at first the fire choked: too rich! But soon the wood reached a critical temperature and exploded into flame. That sent a wave of heat to the back of the kiln. 'If you can catch that wave,' Hutchens mused, 'you can build on the peak, reaching temperatures higher and higher. It's an incredible rythmn, like a breathing animal.' Hutchens, unbidden, offered an imitation - 'woof...woof...woof!'. Eventually a temperature of 2400 degrees fahrenheit (1400 degress Celcius) was reached and was more or less maintained for the subsequent days. Hutchens knows firing - he has five gas-fired kilns for his pots and glass ware. But he says there's nothing like this wood-fired anagama. There is so much energy flowing through the kiln, it becomes what he calls 'the ultimate firing for any potter.' The artists left the kiln to cool down, and days later returned to see what the flames had wrought. You might wonder how anything can survive all this. There are always some casualties, some pieces that tipped over in the flow of heat and ash. But these are very skilled, professional potters and mistakes are few. The proof of the pieces will be seen at Fired Up!. For the potters, firing this kiln as a team joins them to an ancient tradition. Pottery used to be a communal activity, but this is 'not so common nowadays,' Hutchens said. 'We tend to work as individuals in isolation, and so it¹s a great treat to get back some of that community of artisans.' Potters in Fired Up! 2003: Alan Burgess Meg Burgess Louise Card Sue Hara Gordon Hutchens Denys James Cathi Jefferson Susan Lepoidevin Glenys Marshall-Inman Vincent Massey Pamela Nagley-Stevenson Laurie Rolland Kinichi Shigeno Pat Webber ___________________________________________ Copyright © 2003 Robert Amos Robert Amos is an artist and art writer who lives in Victoria, B. C.. He can be contacted by e-mail and you can view his paintings at www.robertamos.com