Joe Finch (Wales)

Joe started his pottery career in 1964 with an apprenticeship under his father Ray Finch at Winchcombe Pottery. It was during that time that he gained his first experience of kiln building when helping to build a new two chamber, oil fired kiln. 

In 1968 he travelled to South Africa where he spent three months with Esias Bosch before moving onto Lesotho where he was sponsored to establish Kolonyama Pottery. Here he designed and built a 60cu. ft. oil fired kiln.  

Returning to the UK he again worked at Winchcombe Pottery before, in 1973, moving to Scotland to set up his own pottery at Appin. It was here that he started wood firing in a 80cu.ft. , double bourry-box kiln.

Around 1980 he started to experiment and develop the Olsen fast-fire kiln. The final design retained the fireboxes under the kiln, but changed almost everything else. This kiln design proved to be easy to fire and reliable and has been built many times nationally and internationally.

He has built kilns for people in Africa, India, The Philippians, Italy, Spain, France, Eire and all over the UK.

For ICF 2023, he will be building a different, smaller design suited to soda-glazing. He plans to build and pack the kiln on Friday, with the firing on Saturday, opening on Sunday.



Date: October 17, 2020