High Fire Hawaii is located on the Hilo side of the Big Island of Hawaii. Our gallery and studios produce and represent the best of Hawaii Island Artists. Exceptional ceramic art, handcrafted from earth and fire. Paintings, prints and jewelry that celebrate the beauty of our island home. At High Fire Hawaii we are committed to fostering and promoting contemporary Big Island Art.
At High-Fire Hawaii we fire our gallery work in a gas-fired updraft kiln we constructed ourselves to meet our specific needs. The majority of our pieces are fired to Cone 10 (2350 degrees Fahrenheit) in a reduced atmosphere. Firing in reduction is a process in which the kiln is deprived of oxygen at a critical point in the firing. This forces the intense combustion to strip oxygen molecules from the metallic oxides present in many of the glazes. The finished piece exhibits variations in color and depth that range from subtle to dramatic. Our careful attention to the selection of glaze, clay body and process results in exceptional examples of ceramic art.
Our work is strongly influenced by the natural environment of our volcanic island and its history. Although archaeological records indicate that early Polynesians created pottery in the Western Pacific, the Hawaiians do not have a ceramic tradition. The Hawaiian Islands are too young (our island is approximately 500,000 years old) to have developed the proper clay for ceramic work. The Hawaiians worked in wood and stone to create functional and artistic pieces. Because of this, our ceramic work is strongly influenced by Asian traditions that came to the islands with later immigrants from Japan, China, and Korea. We are particularly inspired by the traditional wood-fired techniques of Japan that yield pieces reminiscent of the natural product of our island’s volcanoes.
Although the ancient Hawaiians were unable to produce ceramic pieces they had a deep respect for the volcanic forces that shaped Hawaii. The Hawaiians recognized Pele, the goddess of fire that dwelled within the volcanoes, as the creative source that gave birth to the islands. At High-Fire Hawaii we endeavor to create pieces that speak to the influences, both past and present, which define our island home.