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wood firing and resources

updated thu 31 jul 97


Don Jones on tue 8 jul 97

Thanks to all who responded to my thoughts on this subject. Your
posts were well thought out and I respect your opinions on this issue. My
intention was to get all this in writing and posted just to get a good look
at it. I'm struggling with this aesthetic. To me, the pots pictured in CM
were interesting but not arresting. I have yet to arrive at the proper
appreciation of this side of ceramics.

You are right about the mining of raw materials, pollution, and
using scrap wood. I've known all that was true. I have never seen any
picture in CM of piles of scrap wood but I know it isn't going to waste
when burned in a wood kiln. My view is more geologic. I suspect, but do
not know for sure, that the majority of the world's population burns wood
for heat and cooking fuel. There are just too many of us. I'm sitting
here in front of my computer, listening to my expensive stereo, while my
electric kiln is firing away, thinking just how lucky I am to be in this
small minority in the first world with all these luxuries. I have
difficulty handling it sometimes. I think about the vanishing of the
Oregon forests, all the crappy architecture that is using this valuable
resource and wondering if it is truly sustainable. I miss old forests. I
once visited a place called the greenwood pottery on the edge of Hendy
Woods in California. I wonder if it is still there. He burned fruitwood
BTW, using I suppose, the prunings of local orchards.

I was raised in SLC and have visited Butte Montana, mines seem
like a cancer on the earth; an all consuming nightmare. I'm sure my
computer is using some of the copper mined out of Kennecott. Out here in
NM, water is becoming a big deal. Intel is mining ancient water at the
rate of 4 million gallons a day and we are being asked to Xeriscape to
I also lived for 9 hellish years in Bakersfield, CA. I KNOW
pollution when I seeit. (pardon the pun) Even the fog there is smelly and

I think all I can do is look at my work and ask what the trade-offs
are. I'm not going to rationalize, maybe I'll use the hammer more often
BEFORE I fire.

Don Jones