The Island Gallery
steve sauer

I have been making pots for 26 years, and for the past ten years I have been doing wood fire. The simplistic beauty produced by fly ash, and flame, time, and temperature in the anagama is the most appropriate for my sculptural vessels. It can be achieved no other way. For me it is the most real and honest way to finish my work.

I have chosen the Japanese concept of
wabi and sabi for the subtle beauty of the natural surface. Shiho Kanzaki, in the History of Shigiraki Pottery, defines wabi and sabi as the fulfillment of sensibility beyond the incompleteness of material things…Wabi may be defined with words like: asymmetry, simplicity, wizened austerity, naturalness, profound subtlety, and unconditional freedom. Sabi may be defined with words like: restrained refinement and luster.

At this time I see myself dedicating the rest of my life to wood fire. Not only in the making of my own pieces, but in the promotion, education, and maintenance of the tradition of the anagama kiln, the oldest style of kiln in the history of Japanese pottery. It has stood the test of time and for me is the most inspirational. For its ware is unmatched in its subtle beauty, organic and true to life processes. The community that the kiln gathers is ever changing and soulfully engaged with one another to produce the works of its fire and artistic impulse.