The Island Gallery


The Island Gallery features leading Northwest artists working in wood fired ceramics, an ancient art form revered in Japan and with a growing following throughout the United States and abroad. The vessels are fired at Anagama and train kilns in the Northwest. The damp forests of the Northwest supply both the fuel and inspiration for artists working with wood fired ceramics.

The Anagama firing process lasts for about one hundred hours, the artists continuously feeding and stoking the fires until the interior temperatures of the kilns reach 2000-plus degrees Fahrenheit. Along with this extreme heat, many other elements affect the outcome of each piece: clay; season of firing; condition and genus of wood; placement in the kiln; and glazes. And then there is fate; many vessels do not survive the kiln; of those that do, there are never two that emerge exactly alike.

Our ceramic artists have long experience as potters and educators and their wood fired ceramics include large and small vessels, sculptural pieces and functional ware. We also feature pit fired lamps and vases.

Wood-fired ceramics artist Jenny Andersen notes:

Firing methods, which demand close interaction with the fire itself, have always been important to me. For many years I worked primarily with raku, pit firing, bonfiring, and other "primitive" firing techniques. I participated in my first Anagama firing in 1999, and since then I have been pretty well consumed by high temperature wood firing. I love the hard work involved, the community effort required, the huge fire rumbling in the kiln for days, and most of all I love the feeling of collaborating with nature in order to complete the work. Inspiration for my work comes largely from my interest in historical art, especially the ritual bronzes and ceramics of Asia. People from all parts of the earth have been working with clay and fire for thousands of years, and the legacy they have left us is rich and vast. Whether working on sculpture or exploring vessel forms, I look to this legacy to keep me reaching for the highest standards.


:   ARTISTS

Larry Aguilar, Jenny Andersen, Robert Barron, John Benn, Richard Bresnahan, Barb Campbell, John Dix, Jiri Duchek, Gina Freuen, Eva Funderburgh, Colleen Gallagher, Anthony Gaudino, Nancy Gill, Eric Gorder, Damian Grava, Maija Hann, John Harris, Chuck Hindes, Gary Hootman, Randy Johnston, Shiho Kanzaki, Chris Knapp, Nobuyuki Kousai, Ben Krupka, Nathan Lekan, Ken Lundemo, Jan McKeachie-Johnston, Sequoia Miller, Gavin Noyes, Hiroshi Ogawa, Peter Olsen, Joseph Pirog, Don Reitz, Owen Rye, Beverly Saito, Steve Sauer, Tim Steele, Al Tennant, Jack Walsh, Natalie Warrens, Ben Waterman, Shane Watson and Rigel Weis.


:   PAST SHOWS   (more...)

May 2 – 31, 2008. Beasts of the Kiln : Woodfired Ceramic Critters. The Island Gallery features the work of Eva Funderburgh and Ken Lundemo.
(see press release.)

June 1 – July 31, 2007. Tea Bowls Abloom. Every summer, Bainbridge Island welcomes an influx of die-hard flora aficionados who flock from all over the globe to attend one of the gardening world’s premiere events: Bainbridge in Bloom. In homage to our island of blooms, teadrinkers, and the artists who enrich us, The Island Gallery presents Tea Bowls Abloom: Ancient Themes, Contemporary Forms, a collection of woodfired ceramic tea and flower vessels from international, national and Northwest clay artists.
(see press release.)
(see catalog.)

August 4-31, 2006. Pottery: Prairie – Plains – Pacific: A Celebration of American Contemporary Wood-Fired Ceramics by Artists from the Prairie, Plains and Pacific.
Jenny Andersen . John Benn . Richard Bresnahan . Barb Campbell . Gina Freuen . Colleen Gallagher . John Harris . Chuck Hindes . Randy Johnston . Chris Knapp . Nathan Lekan . Ken Lundemo . Jan McKeachie-Johnston . Gavin Noyes . Steve Sauer . Al Tennant . Ben Waterman . Rigel Weis. Special contribution from Shiho Kanzaki, Shigaraki, Japan and Owen Rye, Victoria, Australia.
Opening Reception and Demonstration by Chris Knapp, Friday, August 4, 2006, 6-8 p.m.
(see press release.)

May 5-31, 2006. Pacific Rim Artistic Collaboration: Design & Technology. The May show is part of the Bainbridge Island Humanities Inquiry, Sharing an Ocean, Living on the Pacific Rim, which features cultural events during March-June 2006. First Friday Opening, May 5, 2006.
(see press release.)

April 7-30 2006. In the Garden: Wood, Stone & Ceramic Art for Outdoor Living Ken Lundemo, Gavin Noyes, Steve Sauer, Gregory Glynn and introducing Sue Skelly, whose Red Cedar art pieces have been published nationally and internationally, including in Martha Stewart Living. Garden Bells by Daniel Herreshoff. First Friday Opening, April 7, 2006, 6-8 p.m.
(see press release.)

March, 2006. Functional Pottery Show. A continuation of our February show, featuring the functional wood-fired pottery of John Benn, Barb Campbell, Gina Freuen, and Colleen Gallagher. Includes table-dressing vessels and textiles, and dining room accessories.

February 3-28, 2006. Functional Pottery Show. Opening Friday, February 3, 2006, 6-8 p.m. This show features the functional wood-fired ceramics of John Benn, Gina Freuen and Nathan Lekan. Includes table-dressing vessels and textiles, and dining room accessories. To kick off the sweetest month of the year, we honor cooks and dessert lovers everywhere with our first annual Ultimate Bread Pudding Bake-Off at the First Friday opening!

August 5-31, 2005. Contemporary Wood Fire: Interpretations. Hiroshi Ogawa, Chris Knapp, John Harris, Jack Walsh, Beverly Saito, Barb Campbell, Natalie Warrens, & Terry Inokuma.

December 2004. Santatsugama Three Dragon Wood Fire Kiln Group Show. Jenny Andersen, Ken Lundemo, Don Reitz, Beverly Saito, Steve Sauer & Al Tennant with Mixed Media by Peggy Vanbianchi.


:   ESSAY
Faith and Fortuitous Beauty
Thoughts on wood fired pottery
by Susan Neal Roth / Bainbridge Island 2005

Living as we do in a society known for mass production and instant gratification, what a joy it is to discover wood fired pottery, an art form that exactly opposes these qualities.
read more...




In homage to our island of blooms, teadrinkers, and the artists who enrich us, The Island Gallery presents Tea Bowls Abloom, a collection of woodfired ceramic tea and flower vessels from international, national and Northwest clay artists.

see press release
see catalog