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Smoke fired vessels are not glazed; their surface decoration is achieved by burning the work along with saw dust and sometimes other materials such as leaves or moss.  I smoke fire in a garden incinerator with oak shavings supplied by a local craftsman.  The marks and colours are mainly caused as the fire consumes oxygen from the walls of the vessel, replacing it with carbon.  The smoke firing artist collaborates with the fire to influence the amount of oxygen drawn from the work.  Each vessel's surface bears the spontaneous marks and scars made by the fire and is completely unique.  Every smoke firing artist has a different approach, but it is essential to work in harmony with the elements and there must be a desire to embrace the unknown.  My adventures as a sailor all over the world's oceans have taught me to be secure in change, to observe subtle signs, to trust my intuition and to accept that I am not completely in charge of the outcome.   In the same way that I stand watch on a sailing boat, I stand over the smoke fire, listening, guiding and watching, but letting the fire have its final say.   


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