Thursday, April 17, 2008

story of the kiln god

So I thought I ought to give some background information on the tradition of the kiln god. Kiln gods can be found in the traditions of many ancient cultures including the Chinese (Tung- the god of fire) and the Egyptian (Khun- protector of all things made on the wheel) cultures. Kiln gods are traditionally made out of raw or fired clay and placed over the entrance to the kiln. Kiln gods are used as good luck idols to bless each firing. 

I chose to make my miniature monument to Alfred a kiln god to represent the ceramic history and traditions being passed on at the New York State College of Ceramics. Although bronze is not a typical material to use for a kiln god, I think it is appropriate because it is an enduring material that will outlast clay. The first thing I think of when I think of Alfred is ceramics. Ceramics is a central part of the village's history. I wanted to commemorate this long history of ceramics in Alfred and acknowledge its ancient origins. 

To see more images of kiln gods click on the link for Kiln God National.

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