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John Mackenzie

John Mackenzie completed a degree in ceramics at Harrow University in 2001, where he developed a passion for wood fired ceramics and kiln building. John has since built a number of wood fired kilns and has been exploring the unique colours, surfaces and effects which can be only be achieved with this process.


John has recently built a new 140 cubic foot anagama (cave) kiln which is fired with offcuts of wood from local sawmills. The kiln is fired for around 50 hours and needs constant attention to build the temperate to above 1300 degrees centigrade, where the ash from the wood melts to form a glaze. He aims to explore and accentuate the protracted and extreme firing process by developing his own clays, glazes and slips which respond to the flame, ember, and ash.

John is fascinated with how the burning wood can imprint its energy onto the clay and looks to vary the atmosphere of the kiln to maximise the kilns potential. He includes locally found granite and feldspar to develop deep surface effects, texture, and colour. Born and raised in Cornwall, John has always had a close affinity to the sea and rugged
Cornish coastline of West Penwith. His work is a direct reflection of this, he aims to make functional vessels which communicate the elemental processes that they have been through.

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