The Full Story
About the NHPG Wood Kiln Project
The "old kiln" gave thirteen years of hard use. It was built with bricks donated by
Rudy Hauk, moved and rebuilt twice with volunteer labor provided by guild members. One
wall is bulging, the arch is sagging, and unpredictable and uneven heat zones are causing
glaze problems and safety issues.
Recognizing the need for a new kiln, guild members designed a new kiln and began fundraising in 2020. Thanks to Kelley Stelling Contemporary for their invaluable assistance organizing fundraising events and to all who made donations! In 2022 volunteers met to move bricks gathered over many years to make room for construction, harvest hemlock trunks on site and pour a foundation.
Over a series of workdays beginning in April 2023, guild members and friends came together to build and raise posts and trusses, then roof for the kiln shed addition, working around and sometimes in the rain. The camaraderie was wonderful! Everyone learned a lot. And as Al mentioned, no one has more
delicious potlucks than potters. Many thanks to all! New bricks were delivered in the fall of 2023,
ready for construction in 2024.
Property owner Al Jaeger has taken steps to ensure that the kiln site will be available to NHPG
going into the future, while the rest of the property will be under conservation. The beautiful
and peaceful site contributes immeasurably to the experience of wood-firing.
Building the New Kiln
Join the kiln-raising! In the style of an old-time barn raising, the New Hampshire Potters Guild invites volunteers to work together over a series of 4-5 three day weekends beginning May 31. There are tasks for people of all skill levels, including dismantling the old kiln, building the new one, preparing wood for the first firings of the new kiln and helping to keep the weekends running smoothly.
Recognizing the complexities of life and summer schedules, you do not need to sign up for every day.
Primitive camping (no running water or electricity) in tent or vehicle is available on site - please check with Al Jaeger before setting up camp. We'll have an outdoor kitchen with fresh well water available for drinking and cooking. Please bring your own food and eating utensils. Donations of food and snacks are welcomed.
Support the NHPG Kiln effort and help build community.
To help build the kiln, sign up here!
To make a donation to support the kiln build, Donate here
Donations will be used to cover unanticipated expenses. Any surplus will support future firing expenses to keep it affordable.
Our Grateful Thank you to
All those who have volunteered their time effort and money to our vision of creating a new community Wood fired kiln.
Meet the kiln designers and kiln-build leaders
Eric Maglio and Belinda Bodnar designed the new kiln and are leading the kiln-building.
Eric Maglio was born in Greenville, South Carolina, USA in 1984. He studied art at New
Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, NH where he was first introduced to clay and
the process of wood-firing. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Art degree, with a concentration in ceramics, from NHIA in 2007. After graduating he and his partner Belinda Bodnar built their own wood fired kiln to further develop their personal understanding of the intricacies of wood fired ceramic materials and processes. He is a juried member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen and has demonstrated and exhibited work nationally and internationally. He continues to explore the ceramic form and surface through participating in various community wood firings in addition to experimenting in his own kiln.
Belinda Bodnar was born 1986 in Francestown, New Hampshire. She grew up playing in and sculpting the local clay on her family's property. Belinda studied Art and Art Education at the New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) in Manchester, NH where she met her friend and partner Eric Maglio. During this time Belinda joined the New Hampshire Potters Guild with Maglio and started participating in community wood firings. Belinda‘s excitement for clay, the ceramic process, and the process of wood-firing continued to develop. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Art degree with a concentration in Ceramics, in 2008, and her New Hampshire Art Education K-12 Certification in 2009,
from NHIA. In 2010 Belinda collaborated with Maglio to build a wood fire kiln in Francestown to gain hands-on experience and develop a deeper understanding of the process of owning and operating a wood burning kiln. Belinda is currently a full time art educator and has been teaching Visual Arts in the Nashua School District since 2009. Belinda has demonstrated, lectured and exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Her work is in a number of private collections. Both Eric and Belinda participated in the building and firing of the Fujigigama kiln at the former NHIA's Sharon Arts Center.
Eric Maglio's Artist Statement
My first love was fire, second was mud, so there is little mystery that I’ve landed in the realm of wood fired ceramics. My work is an investigation of form, earthen materials, and their interactions with intense prolonged exposure to a river of fire. Creating a successful finished piece is certainly a motivating factor, but the desire to make forms that push, pull, squeeze, soften, and tease the flame as it progresses through the kiln is my ultimate motivation. The hope is to arrive at an artifact that contains a confluence of human interaction with the natural world, with a sensitivity to the countless cultural interactions of the past. Belinda Bodnar's Artist Statement
Why am I here? What is my purpose? Like one drop, rippling into the universe, I do not know my reach. Where do we go? What is beyond this life, this moment?
Art for me is a give and take. Piecing parts together, exploring media, problem solving, becoming part of the process. Art is a tool that allows me to explore the world, reflect on experiences, and express my spirit.
Being outside in nature, observing plants and animals, experiencing the interconnection of energy is influential to my creative process. I have always loved the tactile quality of working in clay. The physicality of wedging, rolling, pinching, and constructing is meditative and helps me contemplate deeper questions.
Creating sculpture has been therapy in dealing with the loss of my mother. I have used faces and the figure as a reference to spirit, vulnerability, and the exchange of energy.
Expressing questions of the connections of life and death, hope, peace, loneliness's, love, and spirit through personal symbols in my work. Whether I am in my own studio or working with others I am excited by creative investigation and the endless possibilities of interconnection.
The NHPG Kiln is a tool that helps build a community while being a valuable tool for potters and students of pottery. A new, larger kiln will allow us to grow the community. A larger community can offer wood-firing and other clay workshops to more people in the future.