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BOXES beyond borders

My Kiln

Sylvia Hyman
USA - Tennessee 2003

Pyrometric cones play an important role in the process of making my ceramic sculpture. Although there are sophisticated instruments to measure temperature in a kiln, the cones are a more reliable indicator of the effect of TIME and HEAT on ceramic materials. The simple cone-shaped forms, each calibrated to melt at a specific temperature, can be observed through a peephole in the kiln door during a firing. As the cones bend, their reaction to the advancing temperature indicates how my sculpture is reacting.

My box represents my kiln, surrounded by previously fired “cone-pats”. It is mounted on a porcelain doily that symbolizes the interaction between my life as an artist and my rich, full domestic life.