Fire in the Arts

fire yoYou know I love fire, it’s right there in the name – Hammerstroke & Fire. Of course that’s referring to the fire of my torch I use while creating my art. But metalsmithing isn’t the only art that uses fire to its advantage.

Ceramics – The art of pottery requires fire (or electric or gas heat) to transform what is basically high quality mud into a material that is capable of holding liquids and withstanding heat. Different potters use this element in different ways. You can see video footage and photographs of Kurt Brantner working with a wood fire kiln on his Facebook page.

Kevin Lehman working on the glass cylinder.
Kevin Lehman working on the glass cylinder.

You might remember that I’ve visited another potter’s studio, Kevin Lehman Pottery, and that he also works in glass. Glassblowing definitely relies on fire to liquify the silica that creates all the beautiful glassware and sculptures you see all around you. Not only does Kevin work with fire in ceramics and glass, he also makes a mean woodfired pizza.

Getting the crucible ready to pour into the heated cast.
Getting the crucible ready to pour into the heated cast.

Of course other metalworking techniques use fire as well. Remember that bronze pour I went to at Keystone Art & Culture Center. They heat bronze up until it is a liquid and pour it into molds.

Then there are people who burn wood, like pyrographer Jenny Germann, or people who create lamps for flames, like Don Kensinger. There are all kinds of artists who like to work with element of fire. You could say we have a burning desire to create (da dum dum.)