Join your sisters of the flame to fire the Reitz Ranch Train Kiln, while you share and learn from each other with discussions of fire and fun. Participants need to bring up to 6-8cu ft of high-fire, bisqued pots for the kiln firing (Heidi and Rena will work to get every piece in, however, due to every kiln loading being unique, some works may not get into the kiln). Our mantra is “Tall and thin, gets in”, so use this while selecting works. We will then prepare wares for the wood kiln with slip, glaze, and wadding. Women will assist with the kiln loading beginning at 8:00 a.m. on the 11th. Each person will have the opportunity to work a 4-6 hour shift during the firing, and we’ll wrap up the firing on Sunday the 13th. Unloading of the kiln is on November 2 at 10:00 a.m.
Discussions include clay bodies, types of wood, cleaning pots, and the hows, whats, and whys of wood firing. No prior wood firing experience necessary, open to all skill levels. Obviously, this workshop is open to women only (trust me).
“If you want to continue woodfiring, you either need to go to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ or Utah State University in Logan, Utah,” said Jim Lorio to Heidi Kreitchet in the studio at Front Range Community College in Westminster, Colorado. Little did she know, Lorio had predicted her future.
In the summer of 1999, Kreitchet was accepted to Northern Arizona University’s art program. Under the direction of ceramic wizard, Don Bendel, and new arrival, Jason Hess, Kreitchet explored wood firing for the next five years. She was greatly influenced by Hess’s innovative approach to woodfiring. She also credits the influence of Paula Rice, Ellen Tibbets, and Ted Adler who encouraged her to experiment in all areas of ceramics.
After graduation, Kreitchet was fortunate to assist renowned ceramic artist Don Reitz. During the two year assistantship in Clarkdale, Arizona, working and living on “the ranch” was a challenging experience for Kreitchet–physically, mentally, and spiritually. By watching and absorbing Reitz’s skillful techniques with hand building, Kreitchet was inspired to push her own ideas with clay.
In 2006, Kreitchet joined the Masters of Fine Arts program at Utah State University under the guidance of John Neely and Dan Murphy. At USU, Kreitchet continued to pursue woodfire and her ceramic muse. She received her MFA in May of 2009.
Since 2011, Kreitchet has directed AMOCA Ceramics Studio and passionately built, from the ground up, one of the largest ceramic studios in the country. Providing classes, studio memberships, workshops, and outreach to Pomona and Southern California, AMOCA Ceramics Studio which is partnered with The American Museum of Ceramic Art is a community ceramics studio with over 200 studio members, students, visiting artists, and resident artists. Kreitchet strives for an excellence in education, quality over quantity in the making process, all in a positive, high energy studio environment.
Rena Hamilton is a potter, wife, dog lover, cook, gardener, and outdoor enthusiast. She is planting roots and building community in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Rena studied at Ohio University earning a BFA and MA in Art Education. She has been a secondary art teacher for more than a decade and has spent many years advising future educators at Northern Arizona University all the while maintaining a home studio practice. When not working in the studio or in the classroom, Rena can be found exploring the high desert via mountain bike, back country skis, or motorcycle.
Rena has exhibited throughout the U.S. and has work included in private collections in the United States, Australia, and Canada. Rena founded the Flagstaff Potters’ Guild in 2011 for area potters to share resources and information while building community and promoting our work.
From Rena: I am delighted to create pieces that are used in moments of celebration and daily rituals; whether it’s a gathering of closest friends and family sharing good food and drink or a quiet contemplative moment alone with a morning cup of coffee. I hope my pottery brings joy, beauty, and a touch of humanness while serving nourishment in the homes where they reside.
If you’re having trouble registering please call 602-882-8553. Phone reception can be spotty out here at the ranch, so be sure to leave a message if you don’t get an answer. You can text to that number as well or fill out the form below.