Over the weekend I went visited the quaint city of Pittsboro, NC to visit my family and to also check out Mark Hewitt's Summer Kiln opening. When you drive up to Mark's house, you get the feeling that you have just escaped almost to a mountain retreat (It also helped that the weather this weekend was incredible!)
Mark's oldest Daughter, Emma Hewitt (who also makes hand crafted jewelry), took us through the kiln and elaborated on the process that Mark and his team goes through for the firing in his kiln. He has two kilns. The Old kiln is used for salt glazes and is a modification of a 14th century kiln from Northern Thailand, and is similar in firing principle to the Southern groundhog kiln. For each firing, they take about 5 days to load, a few days to fire, followed by another week for cooling. The Newer Kiln that was created in 2007 is used for the another southern traditional firing of ash glazes.
The sale continues next week...makes for a fun day trip (August 31 - September 1, Saturday 9-5, Sunday Noon - 5) - It's easy to get to, CLICK HERE FOR MAP.
Pictures from my adventure:
Driveway to the Hewitt's home, Kiln & workshop.
Left: Kiln, Right: the Workshop, Center/Behind: barn filled with pottery.
The Old Kiln
View from inside The Old Kiln
Side of The Old Kiln. The square peices are made special to place pots on inside the kiln during firings.
Pine used for firing.
"As local as you can get" - North Carolina clay, North Carolina firing tradition, using North Carolina Tar in the center.
On Right: "Newer Kiln" that was made in 2007
In the workshop - here's the wheel used to throw his large/mega pots.
Smaller pots and cups in the barn.
Emma Hewitt, aka a wonderful tour guide (thank you!)