April 13, 2023

UM College of Fine Arts Presents World-Fire: A Project Invitation

The University of Montevallo College of Fine Arts is presenting World-Fire: A Project Invitation April 18-22 with the lighting of the anagama kiln occurring Tuesday, April 18 at 1 p.m.

With recent challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, teaching, learning and general communications have been redefined by Zoom, Skype and other similar platforms. With previously remote events now accessible, an opportunity is presented for wood-firers to share techniques and approaches in real time.

The kiln firing is under the direction of Dr. Scott Meyer, a professor of art at UM for 37 years. In 2000, he received a large donation of materials to build a series of kilns on campus including the 40-foot anagama kiln. The kiln was fired for the first time in spring of 2002 and has since been fired more than 25 times with artists coming from as far away as Taiwan to participate. Though no philosophical view is common to all, firing here tends to embrace new points of view, extra-traditional creative goals and experimentation.

Meyer is a ceramic sculptor with work featured recently in Ceramics: Art and Perception and in a solo exhibition at the Yingge Museum of Ceramic Art, Taipei, Taiwan. He is also a founding member of The Crucible Project, a collaborative effort unified by this iconic form.

World-Fire: A Project Invitation Q&A

Q: What do we need to be part of this?

A: A smart phone can make this happen. Obviously video gear, dedicated cameras, technical assistance, and a large screen to receive images from elsewhere all would enhance a participant’s experience. Anyone wishing to participate has the assistance of the University of Montevallo’s Mass Communication Department for technical advice.

Q: Can any wood-fired kiln participate?

A: Yes, but ideally the shared information should be applicable and useful. So variations of kiln design are anticipated, but if one is too dissimilar, the exchange is not as meaningful.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of kilns participating?

A: We will accept the first four kilns as participants before starting a waiting list should anyone need to cancel. Of course we may get zero, in which case we can try again in the future.

Q: Are there plans to show work produced?

A: While this is a pilot project, there is already interest in staging a virtual exhibition showcasing the results. Obviously, while we are process enthusiasts, the bottom line for every technique is about its effects on the work. So stay tuned on this.

Q: How can I join up?

A: Just email Dr. Scott Meyer at meyer@montevallo.edu. More specific directions for participants who request to participate will be provided by the University of Montevallo mass communication program.

Q: What is the cost?

A: Free!