Eutectic Gallery Combines Classic Japanese Wood Fired Ceramics with Contemporary Wood-fired Work from the Pacific Northwest for “Stoked”

Featuring the Work of More Than 50 Ceramic Artists, Including Three Visiting Artists from Japan 

Eutectic Gallery, Portland’s only all ceramic art gallery, honors the ancient Japanese traditions of wood-fired ceramics and the influence they have had on wood-fire artists from Pacific Northwest, with its’ February/March show, “Stoked.” The show opens with a public reception on Friday February 6th, from 6:00 – 9:00 PM, and will feature the work of over 50 artists from the Pacific Northwest, and three special guest artists from the Tamba Pottery in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Masafumi Onishi, and Yuki Ogami, will travel from Japan to be present during the opening.

Curators Brett Binford and Stephen Mickey used “Stoked” as a vehicle to investigate the similarities and differences between the wood-fired kilns in two regions of the Pacific: the Pacific Northwestern United States and the Hyogo Prefecture in Japan. The techniques for firing these kilns date back to the 5th century, when the process made it’s way from China to Japan, and centuries later to the Pacific Northwest. The natural landscape, abundance of wood for fuel, and plentiful deposits of clay throughout the region, have made it easy for contemporary wood fired kilns to take root in the local clay communities.

The pottery of Tamba, known as “Tambayaki,” has an elegant simplicity and understated beauty resonating from its calm simple lines. The hues of Tambayaki are drawn from the iron bearing clay by the flames of traditional Anagama and the Noborigama (kilns). The colors range from stunning reds, to earthen oranges and browns, and even dark sooty black. The melted ash that settles on the pottery in the process adds a glassy green highlight to the work.

Each kiln has its’ own distinct qualities and attributes, as does the work from the community of artists that fills and provides the labor needed to fire the kiln. They work together over two to eight days, cutting and chopping wood, loading the giant kilns, continuously stoking the flames to bring them to temperatures exceeding 2400℉, and finally unloading them to reveal how each piece interacted within the kiln atmosphere.

More than 15 kilns and over 50 artists will be represented in Stoked, including Masafumi Onishi, Tsuyoshi Uenaka and Yuki Ogami from Tambayaki and Pacific Northwest artists:

Al Tennent, Chris Baskin, Chuck Hindes, Eric Nelson, Frank Boyden, Hiroshi Ogawa, Joe Davis, Natalie Warrens, Peter Olson, Stephen Mickey, Steve Sauer and many more.