This was a blurb we wrote for an exhibition and sale we had at our gallery back in 2008, just after we fired the kiln for 75 hours. Enjoy!
10 years in…….In 1998 we started the uphill journey into the art of wood-fired ceramics with a kiln building/firing in Edmonton at the U of A. At that time we had just completed our two story garage that was our studio, poured the pad for the gas kiln and ordered the bricks. But we stepped off the beaten path and something resonated in us, we found a way to finish our work in the genre of wood-fire, we could never go back. For a few years we traveled like wood-fire nomads, sleeping in the back of our truck, in search for wood kilns and people who knew how to fire them, to this day they remain some of the best teachers. We built and fired many kilns and though we gained a great deal of experience, we needed more……we needed our own kiln. So we gave up our city life, sold the house, beautiful studio, tore down the gas kiln and moved to the country to start over. The big build is what you could call the next 5+ years, kilns, kiln sheds and the house/studio/gallery is what we worked(ing) on.
There are a few switchbacks on our path that offers us a rest and a view of where we have been. Looking back many sacrifices have been made along the way, more than was expected, some unforeseeable and a few we could not have imagined, but all made willingly for they were made to allow us to do what we do. Making our work and firing with wood asks a great deal from us, it has taken its toll physically, mentally, and emotionally. Every firing cycle challenges what we think is good/bad, beautiful/ugly and keeps pushing us forward and with every step we learn more about our work and in turn, about ourselves. For us, there is no greater journey.
Christian D Barr, Enzien Kufeld