Tom Rye is the winner of the Ceramic Shots Photo Competition: Hot Stuff!, published in The Journal of Australian Ceramics, Vol 56 No 2, July 2017.

Photographers were asked to show us how they played with fire and the myriad of ways that heat and flame transformed their ceramics.

Above: Tom Rye, Night Shift at Boolarra South, 2017; the photo was taken with a Canon DS126191 body and a Hoya 58mm lens on a tripod with a long exposure.

Tom Rye:

Some associations with this photograph may not be apparent from the image alone.

One is that the firing depicted here is Owen’s final anagama firing. All the Boolarra South firings I attended evoke the warmth of woodfire, with good food, great conversation, and the people involved being like an extended family.

The camera I used I still call ‘Barb’s Camera.’ Barbara Rye sadly passed away in May of 2016. She was a crucial part of all the Boolarra South firings, bar one. It has great personal meaning to me that this photo was taken with her camera. She is missed by all who knew her, and I like to think that this picture would have given her a smile.

I remember the company of Kirk Winter, and my brother Mike, on long nightshifts with the sort of rare and memorable conversations that the combination of the right people and a woodfire has an almost supernatural ability to promote.

It’s a nice thing to me that a moment from this firing can be shared.


Owen Rye:

Easter 2017 was my last firing because I have lung problems and firing a large kiln is no longer wise. I am now playing around with new types of work in ceramics, and doing more writing.

I would like to thank everyone involved in my firings in this kiln. They are my woodfire family. This image is for them.

As far as we know this is the first time a father and son have had photographs used as covers for this magazine.

See below for Owen’s cover photo, The Journal of Australian Ceramics, Vol 49 No 1, April 2010.