Posted on September 03, 2016 by Nigel Hayes | 0 comments
Ed Oldfield was born in Orillia Ontario in 1955. While still young, he moved with his family to Duncan, British Columbia. He graduated from high school there in 1973 and went on to the University of Victoria where he studied Visual Art and graduated with a B.F.A. in 1977.
He continued his studies in the Faculty of Education receiving his teaching certificate in 1978. In 1992 he earned a M.Ed. degree in educational administration also from the University of Victoria.
Ed now lives in Powell River where he taught grade 7 students until very recently. After 28 years of teaching visual arts and pottery at the high school level, Ed now channels his artistic energy into creating uniquely west-coast artwork – Raku pots and sculptures.
Raku pottery is created with a firing process that uses both fire and smoke. With Raku pottery, the piece is first bisque fired. Then, it is glazed and undergoes a Raku firing process. The Raku firing process requires a special kiln where the pots remain in the kiln for approximately 30 minutes.
While the Raku is still hot and glowing, it is placed inside a metal can full of combustible materials. The heat emitted causes these materials to catch on fire. A lid is placed over the can and the Raku pottery is sealed inside.
As the fire consumes the oxygen within the can, it also draws the oxygen out of the Raku pottery and its glaze. This process is called post fire reduction. It is this stage that creates the unique look of Raku pottery. The resulting patterns and colors are unpredictable, as they are created through the natural process of oxygen removal. After about 15 minutes, the pots are removed and placed in a can of water. This freezes the patterns that were created during the post fire reduction stage.
You can find more of Ed’s beautiful work at https://www.sidestreetstudio.com/
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