Developing a Place to Gather

Emerging Traditional Artist and potter Robbie Teasdale is using his award to construct a traditional woodfire anagama kiln on his parent’s farm in Decatur, Tennessee. Woodfire kilns require a lot of time and resources, so potters often come together to fire their work in large, combined batches at the same kiln. Robbie has acquired the 34 cedar beams for his structure and is currently working on finding masonry for the bricks that will make up the kiln. Although the building of the kiln has begun, Robbie says this following year will bring lots of exciting progress. Robbie hopes his new kiln will be a resource and destination for potters in his community.

“I had set a goal to have my first kiln by the age of 40. I would have never thought I would be building one at 29, but with the ETAP award and 65 private donors matching it, the dream of having a kiln has become very tangible… My dad and I have designed it and will be building it with the help of other potters along the way. We estimate that we will have it completed in about 18 months. I look forward to the first gathering of artists around my kiln and to share the excitement of firing with them. I am so grateful for the work that South Arts does for emerging artists and for their support and belief in me. The lesson I’m learning, which we have all heard a thousand times (because it’s true), is to not give up on our dreams.” – Robbie

Wood, Bricks, Fire, Community