Coolavokig Pottery is situated in West Cork in South West Ireland and was set up in 1977 by Robb Bradstock. In 1984 Meredith Flandreau joined Robb and they continue to make high quality Irish handmade and handcrafted wood fired pottery. Most of the work is made on a potter’s wheel, giving each piece a highly individual quality which is further enhanced by the wood firing process.
In the last few years Meredith has been making more individual ceramic sculptural pieces and has participated in exhibitions locally.
We make a comprehensive range of hand-crafted/handmade domestic pottery using designs and glaze colours that have evolved over the years. We always give particular attention to balancing practicality with aesthetically pleasing forms.
All our pottery is completely safe for use in the home. All glazes are lead free and contain no harmful ingredients. The pottery is also dishwasher safe, microwave and oven safe.
Robb stoking the wood fired kiln. Meredith glazing a large jug
The Wood Firing Process
The wood fired kiln at Coolavokig Pottery, the first of its kind in Ireland was built in 1977. The design is based on a traditional Japanese climbing kiln. The two kiln chambers are fired simultaneously. The first containing glazed ware is fired to 1300c. The second chamber uses the waste heat from the first to fire the raw ware to 1000c ( this work is later finished in a subsequent firing in the first chamber). This enables us to maximise the energy from the well seasoned wood.
A Tea jar Lidded Jar with dolphin design
The results from wood firing give all the work a distinctive character. Unglazed surfaces have a toasted bronze look which is often accentuated by intricate hand-carved decoration. Glazed surfaces have subtle and beautiful variations depending on the position in the kiln and how much wood ash was absorbed by the glaze.
Wood firing, unlike other firing methods, is extremely labour intensive. Wood, usually pine or spruce, has to be acquired several years before it is used so that it can be cut, dried and seasoned effectively. The kiln is normally fired 3 or 4 times a year, usually in the Spring and Summer months. A firing takes 11 or 13 hours after the kiln has been preheated the previous night.
The wood-fired kiln requires constant stoking to achieve the high temperatures required to complete a firing. After the firing the kiln has to cool for 2 days before the finished work is unloaded and is ready for sale.
Robb also makes documentary films about world and local cultures including a film about Irish crafts people with members the of West Cork Craft and Design Guild and Jeremy Irons
Please visit The Six Degree Productions web site to find out more about Robb's documentary films