Ash, Ember, Flame: a Japanese Kiln in Oxford

The Principal was delighted to welcome Ambassador Hayashi and Madame Hayashi, from the Embassy of Japan in the UK, to the official Oxford opening of ‘Ash, Ember, Flame: a Japanese Kiln in Oxford’ exhibition last week. 

 The exhibition contains a selection of ceramics fired in the Anagama kiln at Oxford University Kilns in Wytham Woods.  This Japanese firing technique is unusual and produces distinctive and highly decorative effects as the pots are fired in the same chamber as the fuel.  It was a great pleasure to have so many of the artists and community groups who had worked on the pots and firing (which takes place over 3 or more days) attend, as well as Dr Robin Wilson, Director of the University Kilns and alumnus of the College . The ceramics were displayed alongside a selection of items from the College’s own collection of 20th century British studio ceramics, many of which draw on Japanese motifs and techniques.  Members of the University, including the Registrar Gillian Aitken, Professor Sho Konishi, Director of the Nissan Institute, and Linda Flores, University Proctor and Associate Professor in Japanese, were also present, making the opening a successful meeting of the academic and creative worlds. 

A number of open events will soon be announced to allow members of the public, schools and community groups to discover more about the innovative project and view the pots on display.  If you have any questions please email