Slowly, the lid of the kiln closes leaving the warming pottery alone in a glow of orange and red. The potter walks away to resume other duties pertaining to the life of a potter.
But the pots are not alone. A small benevolent creature watches and protects the ware as they fire. It's craftsmanship is unique to that of it's maker, bonding it in spirit to the clay vessels inside the kiln.
Kiln Gods have a long historical relationship with firing pottery. Even today they are widely used with varying degrees of intention.
My Kiln God's name is Joe. He was not originally intended for that use, though. He was a product of creative whimsy. A rare inclination I had toward figurative pottery. He was created, then forgotten about for a time.
He spent those early days seated high on a shelf above the din of the
studio, the music, the pounding of clay on canvas, the whirring of the
wheel. Then one day I realized how attentive he was, how he was always
on watch, never waivering for an instant.
That's when he fulfilled his destiny as "Watcher of the Fire".
He is extremely large for a Kiln God. While most pottery Kiln Gods are created from leftover scraps of clay, he is made up of 13 smaller pots, each one thrown from the same ball of clay.
Although the number of pots I used was unplanned, 13 just happens to be my lucky number. That's the magic of the Kiln God!
The reason it's my lucky number is that few other people would chose it because of superstitions, which means that it has a surplus of good luck stored up just waiting for someone like me :)
Here's Joe coming together during his creation.
Do you have a great story about your favorite Kiln God? Share it!