Kim Ellington

Kim Ellington and wood

Kim Ellington lives in Vale, North Carolina, home of an ongoing woodfired stoneware tradition for over 200 years. The pots are utilitarian in nature and glazed with an ash glaze known locally as alkaline. This is the tradition he has worked out of for the past 35 years though he has been in the pottery making business for 40 years. Ellington built his first kiln in 1980, a Olsen Fast Fire, and has been exclusively using wood as fuel for firing since. In 1987 Kim was offered the opportunity to construct a large wood burning Ground Hog kiln. Through the process of learning the Catawba Valley tradition he was very fortunate to become good friends with the last potter still making in the folk tradition, Burlon Craig who he considers his mentor. Burlon once told him there are two kinds of potters. Some are turners, those that have a desire to be at the wheel making pots and immersing themselves in working with clay. Some are burners, those that would rather fire. Although they may possess talent at the wheel, turning is only a step in the process necessary for the real fun, the burn. Kim is a burner; firing a kiln is his motivation for making.


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