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updated sun 30 may 99


mel jacobson on sat 29 may 99

without question, one of the hardest jobs in ceramics is
gathering wood, splitting wood, drying wood, carting wood,
messing with wood, the firing with wood.

most people should look into the work and really decide if they
want that challenge.........there is no thanks, it is just bloody
hard work. i try and warn people ahead of time.....this is a job
for masochists.

that is why i keep saying,` if you want to fire with wood, have
a great source of fuel near you`.

nils lou has the wood shipped in.. he lives in the best place in the
world, about 5 miles from a wood processing plant in oregon. it still
costs nearly a thousand dollars to fire his anagama. david hendley
lives next door to a pallet factory.......his is free for the taking.
when at mesa, az.,i found that jeff and art center gets all of its wood
from the city of
mesa, just delivered to their door......that is smart......burning all of that
left over scrap, and the pile is endless.

we live within miles of three saw mills in wisconsin......7 bucks a cord.
we just have to run the chain saw down the banded piles....every 20 inches.

but, when we fire, we have teams of two people, they stoke for about
an hour, then switch, others do some splitting.
it is a job for hearty souls.
i do not like it at all............stay as far away as possible......just show
up for the loading and unloading...then push in with big elbows.
well, sometimes i bring beer to them on my four wheeler, then scoot
away as fast as i can drive.

with soot in my hair.
burns on my butt.