Ceramics professor featured in Oregonian

An ancient-style kiln, built by art Professor Nils Lou, has attracted hundreds of artists and students and spurred a ceramic renaissance in the Pacific Northwest, according to an Oregonian feature.

Art Scatter also published an in-depth story about the firing.

Made of 5,000 hand-cut bricks, Lou’s East Creek Anagama Kiln is modeled on an eighth-century kiln used in Asia.

The experience of firing is primeval, he says. Wood is consumed rapidly in the 2,500 degree fire, so feeding the flames and stoking occurs for four days around the clock. Many potters speak of midnight firings as spiritual experiences.

The kiln can house 500 pieces of pottery. Heat and melting ash creates an organic natural glaze, referred to as “the gift of the kiln,” Lou says. “Wood firing is about letting go of expectations.”

Lou teaches art and visual culture at Linfield College. He is recognized as an international authority on kiln building and his ceramics have been on display in galleries and exhibitions around the country. His books include The Art of Firing and The Play Book, which looks at art as a form of play.


Nils Lou Blog