These were corporeal and spectacular multifaceted artwork events rooted in the physicality of the process of transforming clay into ceramic. Site specific sculptures constructed from clay were built in such a way that they became self-firing kilns: wrapped in insulation, and heated with wood or gas to vitrify the clay at 1200 degrees C. At this point the insulation would be taken off to reveal the searing heat and light of the form within.
The first event celebrated the transformation of the Islington Mill in Salford, Manchester from industrial to cultural site, in 2001. Over a period of 8 years I was commissioned by a range of institutions and organisations across the UK and as far afield as Montana, USA. The final event in this series 'Fire Capsule' took place at the 2009 Aberystwyth International Ceramics Festival and ran for 24 hours to a score of selected music throughout popular culture that used fire as a metaphor to describe love. It was both a celebration of the fire-gazers reverie, and a grand farewell to the ceramics world.
Thanks to photographer Peter Dibdin for the use of his photos 3 & 7.