Fall Wood Firing Workshop

Develop your wood firing skills during this week-long residential workshop led by Watershed Studio Manager Reeder Fahnestock. Participants will take part in all aspects of firing Watershed’s catenary arch wood kiln and will be guided through every step of the process from start to finish.

Workshop Dates: September 2-10, 2022
Registration Fee: $985, includes meals & housing

The workshop has filled. Add your name to the wait list and Watershed will contact you if a spot becomes available.

Workshop Details & Schedule

Workshop participants will have the opportunity to wood fire their own work in Watershed’s catenary arch kiln during this guided group firing. From the glazing process through the kiln unload and cleanup, Watershed’s studio manager will provide step-by-step instructions and support.

The workshop is limited to eight participants. Working in shifts, the group will fire the wood kiln over the course of two days, allowing time for the kiln to cool, and unloading the work together at the end of the week. Prospective participants should be aware that some shifts during the firing process will take place overnight.

For those interested in renting Watershed wood kilns for personal use, participation in this workshop serves as a step toward certification.


September 2:

  • Arrive between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm
  • Welcome dinner and orientation: following dinner we will tour the studio and kiln pad.  Participants will have the opportunity to unpack their work.

September 3:

  • Information session on Watershed’s stock glazes
  • Working in shifts, we will alternate between preparing and stacking wood and glazing and wadding work.

September 4:

  • Loading and candling
  • The group will determine shift assignments for the firing.

September 5 – 6:

  • Fire the kiln
  • Participants will take shifts firing and stoking the kiln.

September 7 – 8:

  • While the kiln is cooling, participants can explore beautiful Mid-Coast Maine, relax, or spend time working on independent projects in the Windgate Studio. Materials are available for purchase or participants may bring their own.    

September 8 – 9:

  • Unload the kiln
  • Clean the kiln and furniture
  • Pack work for transportation

September 10:

  • Depart Watershed by noon

Materials To Bring

  • Bisqued work that is able to withstand cone 12.
  • Each participant will have 6 cubic feet of space for their work in the 48 cubic foot kiln. Pieces should not exceed 12 inches in any dimension. Various shapes and sizes of work are strongly encouraged.  
  • Participants may bring pre-glazed work or make use of Watershed’s pre-mixed glazes formulated for wood and salt. Advice for glazing individual pieces will be offered. 
  • All clay and glazes used should be able to withstand cone 12. While we will be firing to a “middle” cone 10 as our target cone, some spots in the kiln may reach higher temperatures.
  • Reeder is happy to answer questions about the type and amount of bisque work you should bring and provide recommendations for compatible clays and glazes in advance of the workshop. Contact Reeder at rfahnestock@watershedceramics.org

Housing & Meals

Watershed provides dinner on the first night of the workshop, three meals daily during the session, and breakfast on the final morning on campus. Vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free diets can be accommodated.

Participants will stay in Watershed’s cabins in single occupancy rooms furnished with twin beds. Bathroom facilities are shared but can be used by one person at a time, much like a bathroom in a home. Participants must provide their own sheets, blankets, and bath towels. Pillows are provided. 

Payment Schedule & Refund Policy

Workshop Payments: A $200 non-refundable deposit is due with your registration. Watershed will invoice you for the remaining balance, which is due June 15 or upon receipt of invoice for registrations after June 15.

Refunds: Watershed will refund your fees, less the $200 deposit, until August 3. After August 3, no refunds will be given but any payments (including the $200 deposit) may be transferred to another Watershed workshop or residency within the next calendar year. 

About Reeder Fahnestock

Workshop instructor Reeder Fahnestock has fired a wide variety of wood kilns and has extensive experience with wood-kiln construction. He supervised the construction of the kiln we will be firing and has fired it numerous times. He has been firing his work in wood and salt kilns for over twenty years.

Reeder received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. He earned his MFA in ceramics at Kansas State University where he studied with Yoshiro Ikeda, was awarded the Strecker-Nelson Gallery MFA Scholarship, and taught beginning and advanced ceramics. He was the inaugural artist in residence at Pinon Hill Pottery in La Veta, Colorado, and was also an artist in residence for two years at Pope Valley Pottery in California. His work has been exhibited nationally and is in many private collections.