From 1996 to 2015, artists, students and faculty from the region and abroad participated in the group wood firings at Scott Parady’s Burton Creek Studio. Large Anagama (tunnel) kilns date back over a thousand years in Japan and are among the oldest methods for creating high fire ceramics. Over the last thirty years contemporary ceramics has seen a global resurgence in this ancient method. The process of loading and firing a twenty foot long 250 cubic foot Anagama kiln is extensive. A crew of around ten people work in unison for about 50 hours to load the kiln. Following the meticulous loading process, the kiln is fired for up to ten days. Crews as large as 25 people would take 6 hour shifts around the clock to carefully monitor and stoke the kiln to control the temperature and ash development on the surfaces of the work. Seven days of cooling are necessary before the work can be unloaded safely. Each firing of the Burton Creek Anagama was carefully documented to increase understanding and inform future firing practices and kiln designs. Through participation in these community Anagama firings, students learned intimate details about the firing, gained valuable insights into maintaining and operating a studio and worked closely with professional artists, professors as well as fellow students in the ceramics community. Realizing years ago that the Burton Creek Studio would not be able to grow and meet his artistic needs, in 2000, Scott purchased 80 acres of forested land on Cobb Mountain where he believed he would be able to bring his vision to fruition. After a challenging year and a half of building, he and his family moved onto the property.
“As with my artwork, it was important to be true to materials while constructing our home and developing the land, which added to the challenge, but was vital to my vision of the Cobb Mountain Art & Ecology Project.” - Scott Parady
We welcomed our first Artists-in Residence in 2014 which allowed us to begin construction of the first wood kiln on the property, a 60 cubic foot Train Kiln. Since then, we have constructed a 3000 square foot studio building with a large kitchen for entertaining, an art gallery, housing for artists-in-residence, a wood burning pizza oven, a salt/soda kiln, a 250 cubic foot Anagama Kiln and a 1800 square foot wood storage barn. In addition, we now have chickens for eggs, goats for land management, large garden spaces for produce, a greenhouse for sprouting seeds and an orchard with several varieties of heirloom fruit trees.