Jim's interest in study of the extraordinary world of Anagama firing was awakened when he visited Bizen, Japan in 2008. There he discovered another ancient tradition of unglazed pots: but using a clay that can be fired so hot that its surfaces are radically changed and marked by the fire (English clay flowerpots would just melt at these temperatures).
Since then he has designed, built and commissioned three anagama kilns, the two largest as part of a University of Oxford research project at Wytham Woods in Oxford.
Firing these climbing kilns lasts up to eleven days of continuous stoking with wood - a huge communal task, but one that rewards effort with unique and varied effects and an array of subtle colours. No glazes are used, the shine coming from melted flyash.
Jim's sculptures further emphasise the raw power of this elemental process of transformation by using specially selected unrefined clays, still full of the original quirky character.