Baking of a different kind.

Adam Buick's kiln ready for firingWhen Adam sent an invitation around for his kiln opening it came as a surprise. That time of year already. The kiln openings have become more than just an art exhibition now. They are a social event.

For me it is just a quiet evening stroll across a couple of fields, low skimmed by swallows, to Adam’s studio.  The kiln had been packed a few days ago and then fired, and had been cooling for almost 24 hours but was still hot. I always think it is such a brave thing to do, this public opening. There are so many things that can go wrong, like explosions in the kiln, or a collapse of the structure holding all in balance.

overgrown holloway
The greenlane that begins the path from my house to Llanferan was a little overgrown, with grass and sorrel, foxgloves and campion.

Adam's studio

children watching

waiting for the opening
We watched and gathered and waited and then Adam began to take away the firebricks.
taking the bricks away from the kilnrelief on Adam's face?And behind the wall of bricks sat beauty.
taking out the pots, still hot from the kilncrackled glaze on cooling potWatching closely it was possible to see the glaze crack as the pot cooled. With the smaller pots they sing a song, like a gentle music box, pinging as they come into the air.
beautiful small moonjarsI just love this picture!taking a large pot from the kilnlarge jars on the studio table
At one point a small child climbed into the kiln and I had a sudden ‘Hansel and  Gretel’ moment, but it was warm now, no longer hot, and there wasn’t a witch and he stepped out again, safely.
All of the pots that emerged that evening were strong and elegant, beautiful. My favourite was the first that came out, the large pot from the kiln top shelf, seen on the table above back left. The glaze is a seaweed ash, I think.
Adam has recently shown work at The Chelsea Flower show and will soon be working on a commission for The Shard, that curious spike of glass that cuts the skyline of London, by the Thames. His film of an unfired jar returning to the land was showing in the studio as the kiln was being opened, but is also being shown at a festival in Buenos Aires. You can watch parts of the film on his Vimeo channel. You can see more of his work on his website, and also at Marshall Murray where they have stunningly beautiful wood furniture and hand carved lettering, amongst other things.
If you are thinking of buying some of Adam’s work, now is a good time to do it. The studio is open over the bank holiday. Here’s what Andrew Renton, head of applied arts at National Museum and Galleries of Wales says about Adam’s work:
“Adam Buick has imposed on himself the strict discipline of the simplest and purest of geometric forms. Don’t expect his spheres of fired clay to be standoffish or predictable though. Yes Adam makes white porcelain moon jars as chaste in their beauty as the old Korean dal-hang-a-ri vessels that first inspired him. But within the confines of his spherical ‘canvas’ he also conjures up worlds of spontaneous drama, pots so diverse in their scale and texture, so exquisite in their making, so alive with the Pembrokeshire landscape which they literally embody, that his passionate connection to his environment becomes unmistakable.”

About Jackie

I am an artist and writer. I live in a small house by the sea in Wales where I write, paint, walk and watch and dream of bears and whales. I love to read, have a wish for wings and prefer the company of animals to that of humans, though at times I can be quite friendly. I am learning how to work with wood engraving tools and hoping to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
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