Paul Haigh, a Londonderry resident, often found himself in his basement creating pottery, which he then fired in his wood fire kiln, located in his backyard. In March of 2009, the zoning board granted a special exception to Paul to establish his pottery business Wiley Hill Mudworks out of his home.
Paul started his love of pottery in high school. After high school, Paul continued to create pottery and entered some competitive challenges. A chemist by trade, Paul began to find time to pursue his hobby again these past three to four years.
Paul works on pottery over time and has over 100 of pieces of work when he fires up the wood fired kiln three to four times a year. Each firing takes a cord of wood and the process takes almost a full day. The flame of the wood firing process gives each stoneware pot a warmth and unique character that you will discover more with each use.
In fact, the kiln gets so hot that the wood ash melts and becomes a glaze on the surfaces it touches. Some pots have “shadows” from the pots in front of them in the flames path. It’s an extreme, less predictable environment, and the survival rate of any pot is far less than other methods of firing pottery (gas, electric, etc.).
These pots are designed for use. They are dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe (but don’t put them on a stove top burner). Paul takes all his orders over the internet. Click here to visit the Wiley Hill Mudworks website.
Though no tours are available these professional videos by MIPFilms give you a glimpse inside the process.
Read more for a few more videos showing this unique art.