Firing the Noborigama

June 23 - June 27, 2023

Firing the Noborigama


Details Fee Breakdown:
Tuition: $650
Material Fee: $100

This will be a group wood firing of the Noborigama kiln. We will gather and work together to experience all the aspects of firing a large wood fired kiln including the speculation and uncertainty involved in such an effort. Hard work, stories, new friends, fire and good pots will happen. Kim will also be sharing the history and experience of working in the Catawba Valley tradition of North Carolina which is one of only two ongoing stoneware traditions in the U.S. Woodfiring is not a solitary endeavor but a truly timeless experience in which we can enjoy sharing and learning from each other. All levels of firing experience from beginner to professional are welcome. The only requirement is an open mind and enthusiasm. Participants will need to bring already bisque-fired pieces made with HIGH temperature stoneware or porcelain.

Workshops run from 9:00am to 5:00pm each day

Registration will open in early December. Please check back for updated information and cost.


Level: Beginner and Beyond
Workshop Levels

Definitions of Skill Levels for Workshops

  • Beginner and Beyond: Introductory level course that presents basic knowledge of tools, materials and techniques and is geared towards first timers or those who want to improve and expand their technique. It takes time to build skills.
  • Advanced Beginner and Beyond: Instruction that assumes some familiarity with tools, materials and equipment. Includes reviews and builds on basic skill sets, allows for those with more experience to work at their own pace. Further development of fundamentals, participants have had at least one class or equivalent with professional instruction.
  • Intermediate: Course content that assumes a working knowledge of basic studio tools, materials and equipment necessary to accomplish the projects and techniques to be explored. Participants feel comfortable in the studio setting.
  • Intermediate to Advanced: Course content that requires a proficient working knowledge of studio tools, materials and equipment necessary to accomplish the projects and techniques to be explored in class.
  • Advanced: Assumes proficiency and advanced working knowledge of materials and studio tools and equipment so that the focus is on artistic narrative and/or technical development.
Ages: Adult


Registration is not yet open for this workshop. Check back soon!


Kim Ellington

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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