The passion for fire of Matthew Huck

April 2, 2013
comments comment comments

Wood firing is the most ancient of the methods of firing clay. It generates unique shades of colour and texture on the pieces, thanks in part to the flame, ash and characteristics of the furnace and the wood used. Matthew Huck shares his experience.

Fascinated by the art of fire since the beginning of his career as a potter, Matthew Huck soon moved his research towards the teapot and tea bowl. Initially exploring their sculptural potential he soon focused on the functional aspects of these dignified objects. Since 2005, wood firing has become essential to his work. First deepening his knowledge with experienced potters, in 2009 he moved to the countryside and built his own oven.

"My interest in this art of fire is kindled by the action of the flames, the changing atmosphere of the furnace and the wood ash deposits on the pieces. The results are marked by different shades, creating natural decorations, mineral and unique ... Each firing is an adventure during which a communion occurs between the participating pieces, with each other and with the oven. "

The pieces he produces in a wood furnace, made from earthenware or porcelain, are primarily intended for tea. Firing takes about twenty hours to reach 1300 degrees Celsius. It requires a large amount of wood, constant attention and careful preparation. The pieces, with or without glazes must be accurately placed in the oven according to previous research.

Matthieu Huck graduated from the Bonsecours Ceramic Center in Montreal in 2003 and went on to hone his craft in collaborative projects with various well-known potters (Gilbert Poissant, Quebec; Jeff Shapiro, USA; Claude Champy, France). Specialising initially in high production throwing, he gathered experience in wood-firing in the kilns of fellow potters.

He has been the recipient of several awards, grants and distinctions, including the Chawan award given by the Montreal Urasenke School of Tea as part of the 1001 Pots exhibition in 2011 and first prize in the category “Jarre à thé vieilli" of the  TERRE & THÉ competition hosted by the Camellia Sinensis tea house in October 2011.


Meet the Quebec artisans who are passionate about the objets and art of tea. Every two months, pieces by a different designer will be presented in this unique showcase, giving you the chance to enjoy the great quality and diversity of the work of some of our local potters.

Add a comment