COLLEGEVILLE - Saint John's University hosted its 12th firing of the Johanna Kiln this afternoon, a kiln so large it can hold up to 12,000 works of pottery and sculpture.

The event commemorated the closing chapter of "Stoked: Five Artists of Fire and Clay", a national tour celebrating over 30 years of Saint John's Pottery.

Dedicated to Sister Johanna Becker, the kiln takes six weeks to load and is typically fired in the fall. The firing will now last for 10 days. Over 50 volunteers from around the world will manage the kiln 24 hours a day.

"We can only light it once a year, or once every two years" Senior Apprentice Steven Lemke said.

This kiln is the largest of its kind in North America. The kiln was first fired in 1995. It was built and designed by Master Potter and artist in residence Richard Bresnahan with the assistance of volunteers and apprentices.

Additional information on the Kiln can be found on Saint John's website. 


Dan DeBaun, WJON News