Purified (detail)

Trial by Fire

According to fire ecology, the study of fire and its relationship to living organisms, fire is a necessity for propagation. Certain plant life has evolved to depend on fire as a means to clear out the old and dying so new life can take hold. Seeds are split open by the heat, and the ground is fertile with ash.

Trial by Fire explores themes of devastation followed by the cycle of rebirth. Referenced are eggs, seeds and cast away skins, all signs that the metamorphosis has begun. Salt, also attributed with purifying and preservation affects suspends the moment of purity in time, holding the cycle’s completion in stasis.

The majority of the work created for Trial by Fire, utilizes fire in some way in its fabrication. Clay must be exposed to extreme heat to become vitreous. Furthermore, clay work has been stained with fire and smoke in the smoke-firing process. Paper and wood have been blistered and scorched with fire.

Many of the photos on this page are by photographer, Melissa Humphries.