Jack Troy


20 QUESTIONS

  1. Were the first wood fired object(s) that caught your attention in a photograph or "in person"?  How did you respond?
  2. Was your interest about the process aroused by a firing you experienced, by an object or objects, or by some other means?
  3. What experiences and events kindled your persistence and have maintained your curiosity about the practice?
  4. Do you distinguish between "wood fired aesthetics" and the aesthetics of any other ceramics genre? If so, how? Why?
  5. How would you characterize the development of your appreciation of wood firing? (Were you immediately/helplessly, "hooked," or did the process sneak up on you? Have you had a consistent or on-again, off-again relationship to the process?
  6. When did you realize having your own kiln would be inevitable?
  7. When did you realize that firing with others in a variety of kilns could be preferable or necessary to having a kiln of your own?
  8. What have communal firings taught you about communal firings?
  9. Have your observations of other peoples' work affected what you make, either consciously or unconsciously?
  10. In the spectrum of "wood fired aesthetics " - from anagama firebox pieces with aggressively hostile surfaces, to objects that reveal little or no evidence of having come from a wood firing - where do you see your own work?  How has that changed over time, if it has?
  11. To what degree has your reading affected what you make or how you fire?
  12. How important is "efficient firing" to your practice?
  13. What are your thoughts about why wood firing is experiencing a renaissance?
  14. To what degree do you pre-visualize how pieces "should" look when they come from the kiln?
  15. Chance. Angelic? Demonic? How do you regard chance when you fire? (Or when you don't fire.)
  16. What kind of relationship do you have with "variables" - clays, glazes, wood types, kiln designs, stacking patterns, firing protocols? How curious are you about understanding and manipulating these factors?
  17. Regarding the history of wood firing, would you say contemporary practitioners have made "progress" or are simply accomplishing differently what was discovered hundreds of years ago?
  18. As to sales, do you consider wood fired work to constitute a niche market or is it becoming more fully integrated with other ceramic genres?
  19. What have you learned in the past year that will affect your future firings? [Mine is to loosely pack the flue openings with wood. They burn away at 500F, and heat up the back of the kiln before they vanish. Green wood lasts longest and may work even better for you.]
  20. What are your most persistent challenges as a wood firer? How have you learned to accommodate to, bypass or surpass them?