Stephen Sessions

I first played around with clay and small wood fired kilns around 1965. Bill Samuels and Bob Cunningham had a small cottage at Auburn in Sydney and there were pottery weekends where a small updraft wood fired kiln was built on Saturday and fired on Sunday.

I first worked as a Potter in Bungendore in NSW from 1975-1978. I fired a 20cuft catenary arch drip feed oil burner kiln. The Pottery was called Bungendore Pottery and generally sold in the craft shop called The Bungendore Store, run by Greg Nye.

Then I moved to Mt Victoria in NSW and worked at the Lithgow Valley Pottery with Bob Cunningham and set up my own workshop and Gallery in Mt Victoria under the name of The Mt Victoria Pottery,and worked there until 1987. At Lithgow Bob had coal and oil fired kilns and at Mt Victoria I had a two chambered wood fired kiln and later a single chamber 25 cu ft Bourry box wood kiln. a Steve Harrison 'Layed Back' Kiln design.

Together with Bob and another friend Doug Spiller of Blackheath who also had a wood fired kiln, I explored the world of clay and wood firing.

Clay used here was generally Pugoon clay as well as local clay dug at Clarence near Lithgow and in an old quarry at the bottom of the Victoria Pass.

I had a break from pottery to earn some money and in 1997, my wife Myra and I moved to Kuranda in Queensland on the edge of the Atherton Tablelands to escape the extended cold weather of the Blue Mountains .

It was not until 2004 that I rediscovered pottery by meeting up with Peter Thompson and his anagama. From then until 2011, I assisted at his annual firings and started to make pots again. In 2009 I started to build another kiln. This time it was a Steve Harrison inspired short throat kiln and the name Studiosessions was used.

Then another move. The heat, humidity and cyclone threat got to us and we moved to Gulmarrad, in the Clarence River Valley, NSW.

Here I have built another Steve Harrison inspired kiln. This one has a top loading firebox, a short throat chamber (16cu.ft.) and an arched chamber of 30 cu.ft. Built for Serge Shatrov ('Laid Back Woodfiring' 5th ed p 41)