The Third European Wood Fire Conference is opening in La Borne, France

The anticipation was in the air as wood firing potters began arriving in the village of La Borne for the Third European Wood Fire Conference.  The first was held in Brollin Germany in 2010 and the second at Guldagergaard in Denmark in 2014.  From the looks of things, the French have studied both of those conferences and have things well in hand.

La Borne is home to the Contemporary Ceramic Institute, which helps.  The main building holds a sales area for all of the members of the institute plus one of the finest book shops focused entirely on ceramics I have ever seen.  There are both French and English sections.  Oh, if books weren’t so heavy!  There is, in addition, approximately 1000 sq feet of exhibition space.  Behind this is the kiln shed with three different types of wood burning kilns.  Tents have been set up, t-shirts have been printed, and only the French would think of building a kiln out of wine bottles.  Down the road is the museum linking today’s potters with those who were working here in medieval times.  There are maps showing the directions to the individual potter’s studios that are open for tours. To combat what might be a lack of restaurants – after all – hundreds are planning to descend on this sleepy pottery village –

many have set up cafes in their garden.  Some are even selling homemade jam.  And as I write to you I am enjoying the end of season strawberries so sweet and tiny along with a chocolate croissant and strong cup of coffee.  Life could not be any better!

Stay posted.  I will try and fit in the week’s events on a bi-daily basis!


  1. I read your info…awesome! In 2022, T. Roberts will be leading a crew of major female woodfire artists firing our large 5 chamber wood-kiln here in Penryn, Ca. She is a spectacular artist and a wood fire master! I teach Ceramics and Art History at American River College. In the early 2000’s, we hosted Woodstoke, with great presenters like Janet Mansfield, Rudy Autio, Pete Voulkos and many others. I am friends with the Mansfield’s and have published an article in Arts and Perception. will be our final event in America. You advice would be invaluable to me as I transition my workshop to France. I’d love to have you be a part of Worldstoke 2022, if there is a possibility of that. Thanks again, Rodney Mott

    1. Hi Rodney. Wow. Our careers kind of run parallel to one another. I too taught ceramics and art history here at the School of Art and wrote for Art and Perception. Great ceramics journal. (retired 31 August this year) Janet Mansfield was such an asset. You will love France. Where will you locate? The wood firing community is well established there. If you could, please e-mail me at

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