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Dates: 02 – 12 July 2014
Type of workshop:
Prices: From € 1165 to € 1615 (incl. tuition, materials, food, accommodation)

Fire is the fundamental force linking ceramics and glass. Fire turns clay into ceramic and silica (sand) into glass. The transformation is know as vitrification, whereby a solid is heated until it becomes liquid, and as it cools down it becomes a vitrified, glass-like solid. For there to be fire there must be fuel, and in Boisbuchet the fuel we use is wood. In fact Boisbuchet ‘is’ wood.

Vitrification workshop with Max Lamb, Fred Herbst and Corning Museum of Glass will introduce wood as a third ‘fundamental’ material in the creation of ceramic and glass objects, extending its value beyond simply use as a fuel.

* Wood as a tool – for rolling, pressing, embossing, or sketching into the wet clay.

* Wood as a mould – for glass blowing and clay moulding.

* Wood as an object – to compliment the glass and clay objects, for example a ceramic cup and a wooden saucer, a ceramic bowl and a wooden spoon, a glass vessel with a wooden lid, a wooden pestle and a ceramic mortar, etc.

In September, 2009, a unique type of wood-fired kiln was constructed and fired at the Domaine de Boisbuchet. This kiln uses carbon-neutral waste wood fuel to simultaneously fire ceramics and melt glass for glassblowing. The design references traditional wood-fired techniques and, at the same time, provides a contemporary sustainable approach to high temperature ceramics and glass production.

In this course, students work with instructors to utilize local clay materials and inspiration from the Domaine de Boisbuchet to create ceramic objects. Students will also design glass pieces to be created during the kiln firing. The group will experience the intersection of ceramics and glassblowing by helping to load the kiln and by working in shifts to continually stoke the kiln over the course of two days. The firing uses locally sourced wood fuel to reach temperatures in excess of 1,300 degrees C. Participants gain insight into the processes of firing ceramics and glass, while working both with ancient and cutting-edge techniques.

Max Lamb (UK) was born in St Austell, Cornwall in 1980 – an upbringing that gave him a zest for nature, outdoor activities and creativity. Inspiration grows from his desire to explore and re-contextualise both traditional and unconventional materials, exploiting their inherent qualities, and to reconsider the function of all objects. He aims to design products that are fun, inspired and inspiring, and stimulate positive interaction between product and user. Interaction develops product meaning and meaning improves product longevity. He tries to design products that possess a visual simplicity capable of communicating the obvious. Recently his work has as much been about communication of my explorations as it has been about the exploration itself.

There is something he has grown to understand about the relationship between objects and people. The quality and he guess longevity of such relationships depend almost entirely upon a person’s engagement with and understanding of the object. This of course depends on the quality and integrity of the object, but this is why he choose the processes and materials he does, and manipulate them in the way he does. The communication process lets people into a secret and hopefully captivates them.

Fred Herbst (US) is currently a Professor of Art, teaching Ceramics, 3-Dimensional Design, and Art History, at Corning Community College in Corning, New York, USA. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics from the University of North Texas and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. Since 2000, Fred’s wood-fired stoneware and porcelain objects have been shown in more than 60 exhibitions across the USA and has had his work published in a number of books and magazines. He has built two wood-fired kilns for the Ceramics program at Corning Community College. The first was an “anagama” type kiln based on ancient Japanese wood-fired kilns. The second kiln was developed in collaboration with Steve Gibbs and Lewis Olson from the Corning Museum of Glass and is used to fire ceramics and melt and blow glass simultaneously. Fred’s personal website is

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