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Wood Fire Workshop (two weekends)

Time: March 9 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Number of Classes/Day: Two Weekends
End Date: March 9
Register By: March 1
Ages: 15+
Venue: May Carter Pottery Studio
Cost: $250

Develop your wood firing skills during this hands-on workshop led by Shawn O’Connor; Ceramics Artist and Assistant Professor of Visual Arts at Sweet Briar College. As wood burns, it releases stored minerals and gases, which creates a unique surface and pattern on the surface of the during the firing. It makes every piece unique and one of a kind. Participants will take part in all aspects of firing Sweet Briar College’s catenary arch wood kiln and will be guided through every step of the process from start to finish. This workshop includes an afternoon demonstration by Shawn on approaches to making work suited to capture the unique surface effects produced by wood firing. Once participants have ample time to make work, there will be a glazing and kiln loading workshop at Sweet Briar’s Ceramic Studio. Following the glazing workshop, participants will load and fire the wood kiln, typically a 28-hour process under the guidance of O’Connor. Participants will be guaranteed at least 1.5 cubic foot of space in the kiln. Learn more about Shawn O’Connor’s work by visiting his personal website: 




March 9th ,2024 – Making workshops @ Academy Ceramic Studio


1 – 5pm,  with Shawn O’Connor. Shawn will demonstrate and discuss approaches for making successful forms for wood firing. Participants will be provided Wood Fire Clay.    


April 6th  – Glazing and kiln loading workshop @ Sweet Briar College Ceramics Studio


9am – 11:30am; Studio orientation and glaze instruction. Shawn will share information on SBC’s stock glazes and provide support as participants prepare the surfaces of their work for the firing.


11:30 – 1pm; Lunch will be provided by SBC dinning services  


1pm – 5pm:  Resume Kiln Loading


5pm:  lighting of the kiln 


April 6th – 7th 


Participants will take three-hour shifts from 5pm Saturday until 10pm Sunday firing and stoking the kiln


April 13th – Kiln unloading 

Participants arrive on the kiln pad by 9:00 a.m. to unload the kiln, discuss results, clean the kiln and furniture, and pack work for transportation.

*** In the incident of a weather event the glazing and loading will move too April 13th and unloading to April 20th   

Sponsored by:


with Education Access Program Discounts Underwritten by

Foster Fuels