Oregon Art Beat Features CCC Ceramics Instructor and Astoria Dragon Kiln
From: Caitlin Wright
Clatsop Community College
CCC Ceramic Instructor Richard Rowland To Be Featured On OPB’s Oregon Art Beat
On March 26th and again on March 29th, local Astoria resident and Clatsop Community College’s (CCC) Ceramics Instructor, Richard Rowland, will be featured in an episode of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s (OPB) Oregon Art Beat.
Rowland was first contacted about filming an episode involving the Astoria Dragon Kiln Community in June 2008. Since then, the OPB crews have made three visits to the CCC Ceramics Studio and the Astoria Dragon Kiln to record the complex and lengthy process that the Anagama requires and its connections to the community.
“The Anagama wood firing process is an ancient form of ceramic firing that migrated from China to Japan via Korea in the 5th Century. Today, the use of Anagama in the U.S. has emerged as a tool for learning about ceramic process and community through understanding of place. The Anagama has only been in the U.S. for approximately 30 years and on the west coast for 27 years, we guess. A friend of mine came back from Japan in 1981 and talked about these beautiful Japanese kilns that he saw and together we decided to build one here in Astoria. The thing I’ve learned in the past 20 years is how important our community is in the growth of sustainability and diversity in the Arts,” says Rowland.
The kiln that Rowland speaks of is the Astoria Dragon Kiln—a wood-burning, outdoor kiln. Built from discarded cannery brick gathered from the Columbia River, it has been in operation since 1983. During the firing process, the kiln requires constant attention. On average, 6 cords of wood are burned during a single firing. It takes a community of six to ten people to adequately fire the kiln continuously for approximately 140 hours.
“For the firing shown in the Oregon Art Beat segment, the kiln was loaded with approximately 400 pieces of ceramic ware that were made for the community.” Says Rowland referring to the Soup Bowl Project for the Astoria and Tillamook Women’s Resource Centers. This is the 7th year for Astoria and the 3rd year for Tillamook. “The Oregan Art Beat segment will focus on the Anagama process and its impact on our community,” he continues.
Rowland’s Anagama segment of Oregon Art Beat will air Thursday, March 26th, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. and again on March 29th, 2009 at 6:00 p.m.
Oregon Art Beat is an Emmy award winning weekly television series produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB). The show reflects the work of Oregon artists, musicians, and artisans. The show’s mission is to introduce people to local arts and cultural happenings in the state.
For more information about OPB’s Art Beat, please visit www.opb.org/programs/artbeat.
Clatsop Community College is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution.
Image 1: Community Soup Bowl Project –CCC students stand in front of the bowls they made for the Astoria and Tillamook Women’s Resource Centers. These potters are striving to match the character in the community with quality in the bowl. Photo submitted by Richard Rowland.
Image 2: A student potter. Photo submitted by Richard Rowland