I was part of the 2014 NHIA Kiln Bilding class building of a smokeless Anagama at NHIA’s Sharon Arts Center Campus. Leading the build was NHIA adjunct teacher John Baymore . The name of the kiln is 不思議窯 This is transliterated into the Romaji (English letter) system as “Fushigigama” and pronounced as (foo-she-ghee-gah-mah). The simplest, but slightly inaccurate “translation” of this would simply be “Wonder Kiln“, but that does not catch the true meaning of the Japanese name. There actually would be no direct English first word that would be completely suitable. This set of Kanji has the multiple connotations of not only wonder, but also curiosity, mystery, miracle, marvel, and just a hint of curious strangeness.
The build lasted 2 weeks nonstop. There were 10 BFA and 1 Master of Arts in Art Education students participating in the build. None of us had built a kiln before; it was an experience of a lifetime! These are picture from the start of building to dry firing to loading to unloading our first firing.