Ceramics is both a craft and an art form. It can be utility objects like plates, cups and bowls, and it can also be sculptural pieces of art. Or even a combination of utility and art.

Linda Lid started her ceramic journey in New Zealand in 1996. There are different types of clay and types of fuel used to burn it. While studying in New Zealand Lid fell in love with the wood firing technique. This has become quite a niche way to fire ceramics, so to learn more she had to move to either Japan or France. She decided on France. There she learnt to build and fire a range of different kilns and to create large jars on the wheel, from master throwers.

To keep this ancient skill alive, Linda passes on her knowledge through courses for Norwegian ceramists.

Linda Lid: Crafting beauty from clay and fire

Porcelain bottles with natural ash glaze.

Precision and patience

Wood firing is a complex process, but the result is unique. “I get to express what I want with this method so well,” Lid says. “I can’t get that with others ways of firing”. To get the results she wants, the four-cubic-meter-big kiln needs to be 1300°C. This takes three days, about 20 cubic meters of wood and a small team to watch and build the fire.

Depending on what type of wood is used, different minerals are released into the smoke and ashes, giving the ceramics different colours.

Stacking the kiln is an art in itself. During the firing process, fire flows through the stack of ceramics like a river, and leaves its traces on the clay. “The placement of each piece not only determines the final aesthetics of the pieces but is also crucial to reach top temperature,” Lid explains.

Linda Lid: Crafting beauty from clay and fire

The urns are so big they are thrown in two pieces and assembled before firing.

Nature at the core

Lid works with stoneware and porcelain, making everything from everyday objects like bowls and mugs to her signature pieces, large sculptural urns. “I am inspired by the deep emotional bond between humans (people) and nature,” Lid says. “I want my work to evoke feelings and remind us of this connection, not just when looking at the pieces, but also when touching them.”

Lid uses very little glaze on her ceramics. She adds some on utility items, on the inside and the edges for contrast. The wood firing process provides its own natural ash glaze, with a distinguished look and feel.

Linda Lid: Crafting beauty from clay and fire

Lid firing the kiln.

Web: lindalidkeramikk.no
Facebook: lindalidceramics
Instagram: @lindalidkeramikk

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