Karin Putsch Grassi(Italy)
After growing up in Germany, I moved to Italy in the early 80’s to study ceramics at the Art Institute of Florence and later to London to improve my technical knowledge at the Goldsmith’s College before moving definitely back to Italy.
My main interest in making ceramics was the firing process, therefore I immediately started to build and fire different kinds of kilns with my husband. One of our first wood fired kilns for low temperature was so efficient that during summer we used to fire nearly every day. Construction of gas kilns, Raku kilns and soda fired kilns made of firebricks and ceramic fibre, followed.
In 2009 we built our first kiln made of empty wine bottles; 500 of these were positioned horizontally in rows and sticked together with sandy soil. We worked up layer after layer till the kiln was about 2,20 m high. The main difficulties were to hold the complete structure together, and not to exceed the melting point of the glass bottles.
To work with two very different materials physically so close together was a new challenge for us but the result was stunning.
For more information please visit my website http://www.putsch-grassi.it
The Chianti Glass Bottle Kiln was first developed by Terry Davies and Alberto Cavalini in Italy; this seemingly simple idea has now been reproduced in various countries. To co-incide with this Glass-Bottle kiln firing by Karin Putsch Grassi at the Festival, Terry Davies will be giving a talk about his experimental open air kilns made using recycled materials