Shawn Grove Wood Fired Pottery

FAQs

FAQs

How do I care for my purchase?
Wood fired pottery is dishwasher and microwave safe, but are not intended for the range or oven. Pieces can be used in the kitchen for food prep, storage, as well as for serving. Care should be given when hand washing to avoid breakage.


Do you do commissions?
Commissions are considered by appointment. Due to the nature of the wood fired
process, consideration must be given to feasibility and cost.


Can I buy a matching set?
Each wood fired piece is unique and organic. Sets can be purchased of similar size and
appearance, but because each piece is made and fired by hand, exact matches are not
available.


What is wood fired pottery?
As the name implies, the fuel source for this type of firing is wood. The temperatures achieved are in the range of 2300-2500ºF. This makes the clay strong and watertight. The vapors and ash from the wood add color and texture of both the raw claw body and glazes. Results are somewhat unpredictable due to the innumerable variables in the wood and the labor of introducing the wood by hand.


What is the difference between wood fired and electric?
Electric firing provides an oxidized, controlled environment with the ease of flipping a
switch to produce wares. Wood firing provides a reductive, unpredictable environment
requiring ongoing labor and attention to produce unique, organic one of a kind pieces.


Do you offer classes?
Classes are not offered on site. However, there are classes available locally that offer
wheel throwing, hand building, and wood firing instruction. Shawn currently teaches at Round Hill Arts Center in Loudoun County.


Do you accept students?
Individuals interested in learning more about Wood Fired Pottery and ceramics should
make an appointment.


How can I buy your products?
This website is our online shop, but Wood Fired Pottery is open year-round by appointment as a member of the Loudoun County Artisan Trail. In addition, the studio participates in local events including the Western Loudoun Artists Studio Tour, Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival, and our Annual Holiday Sale in December.


What type/style kiln do you have?
Wood Fired Pottery uses a single chamber catenary arch kiln with a modified bury (fire) box. This type of kiln is similar to the climbing style kilns used in Japan. The bury (fire) box was commonly used in English pottery.


What type of clay do you use?
High-fired, stoneware and porcelain clay bodies are used. On occasion, local clay bodies
are used to experiment with the development of new forms and glazes.


What type of glaze do you use?
A variety of different glazes are used including traditional high-fired glazes such as
celadon, temoku, and alkaline style glazes of the Carolinas. Some pieces remain
unglazed and retain the natural wood ash effects from the firing.
During the firing salt can be added at temperatures beginning around 2100°F. The salt
melts and then vaporizes breaking down into sodium and chloride. This process also
melts the silica on the unglazed surfaces of the pot. The sodium and silica bind together
to form a glaze that often has a rich texture referred to as “orange peel”.


What type of wood do you use?
The kiln requires two cords of wood and 37 hours to fire 200 pots. Oak and poplar are
collected by hand, cut, stacked, and left to dry for 6 months to ensure a productive kiln
environment. At times pine is used to quickly obtain high heat levels.