Anagama Kiln Firing - Live

Series of images depicting pottery being made


Part of the Humanities Cultural Programme, one of the founding stones for the
future  Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities.

This event is supported by the Bagri Foundation.


Anagama Kiln Firing

In collaboration with the Embassy of Japan in the UK and Oxford University Kilns as part of Japan Season

From 8th October 2021 for 8-10 days at Wytham Woods

Watch the recording from the live event below.


Based in Oxford’s Wytham Woods, the traditional Anagama Kilns were recreated together with expert potters from Japan, and Dr Robin Wilson. Anagama means ‘cave’ and the kiln was constructed to plans based on archaeological investigations of this ancient type of pottery kiln.

There is never a more tense or exciting moment than opening a wood kiln. The results are unexpected, and failures and treasures will be mixed together in one kiln. Watch the recording from the livestream of the opening of the Oxford University Anagama Kilns, and learn about the firing process, hear about the project and see the finished pots. The livestream features artists who submitted work to the kiln as well as Dr Robin Wilson who directs the project at Wytham Woods, who will share insights in to the art of this Japanese pottery firing technique.

The pots included from this special firing event will be exhibited at the Embassy in London from 10th December 2021 as part of their exhibition ‘ASH, EMBER, FLAME: A Japanese Kiln in Oxford' along with up to 200 pieces from local and international potters. 


Watch the live event here (recorded October 2021)

The recording is also available via the Embassy's YouTube channel

0:00 Introduction

1:18 The opening of the kiln

12:28 Overview of the loading and firing of the kiln

40:37 Rafael Borja on his work and experience of the firing

48:24 Charles Austin Gannon and Dr Robin Wilson on flameflow, flame painting and results

53:07 Demonstration of removing wadding from a pot

54:18 Audience Q&A with Robin, Joseph and Melody

1:08:20 Nessa Grimes discussing Sundragon pottery, and her results and experience of firing the kiln

1:16:20 Sharon Betram discussing project outreach

1:29:23 Audience Q&A with Robin and Melody

1:35:09 Graeme Hughes (Ruskin School of Art)


Selection of images from the firing process at Wytham Wood kilns


Japan Season

Japan encompasses many different contributions to the world - and this is reflected in the diverse ways in which it is studied and researched at Oxford. The arts and culture, alongside the rich histories, literatures and languages of Japan, will feature as part of a wide-reaching cultural festival in late 2021, led by the University of Oxford as part of the Humanities Cultural Programme.

Bringing together artists and performers based both in the UK and in Japan, the events series will engage the wider public through public events, grounded in collaboration. This festival will both showcase the work of creative performers and artists and reach diverse large audiences in Oxford; it will also have a global reach where the material goes online. We will connect with key organisations and artists as we bring together and celebrate the arts and culture of Japan.

Find out more about the Japan Season 2021 – Humanities Cultural Programme here.


With thanks to the Bagri Foundation for their support for this event. 




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An illustration logo of Oxford University Kilns, with blue text on white background