For me, raku firing and wood firing are two of the most exciting processes in ceramics. The random action of fire on clay produces subtle uniqueness that is only found in nature.
I started sculpting small animals. I began with a small closed form, added legs and head and let the form and my imagination go. The first attempt led to an elephant. Then approaching clay the same way I have created other animals. I began to see that most vertebrates have the same basic sculptural features, i.e. eyebrows, shoulders, hips, etc. You could say that all my animals still start as elephants!
I raku fire in my driveway and use the dry leaves of mostly beech (found in the wooded area around my studio) in the reduction chamber. Wood and soda firings are done as part of a potters’ consortium.