My thoughts on the Bottle kiln of Karen Putsch-Grassi .
In early spring 2007 Alberto Cavallini and myself, began a series of experiments, We knew from our knowledge of ceramics, that glass shared many of the same elements as clay, and if it were possible to build pottery kilns from clay, as we had been doing, why not glass bottles.
We finally came up with our first prototype, The Chianti bottle kiln, ( You tube) is proof of the first bottle kiln firing.
The 2nd kiln we built here at my house, full size, we decided to invite friends, and members of our association Arte Della Ceramica. Of which one member was Karen Putsch-grassi. During the firing, she filmed, and took photos, and wrote notes. Fine, I have never had problems with people doing this during our experiments.
The firing was a great success, and Alberto and I performed our first public event, in the piazza of the Chianti town of Greve.
Some time later maybe six months, Karen had built her own bottle kiln, on the wine farm of her husband. Fine, no problem with that, in fact, it was a great compliment to Alberto and I.
Next thing I see, is an article in the British ceramic journal, Ceramic review. Titled Chianti kiln Karen Putsch-Grassi.
She had single handily, decided to own the bottle kiln. She was then obviously invited to various events on the back of this false article.
I wrote a strong letter to the editor of Ceramic review, who then did his own research, and found grave errors. They publicized a apology.
I then took the case up with the Arte Della Ceramica, then with 60 members. A meeting was called, and the trial began during an afternoon..
The outcome was she was unanimously expelled from the association. And she went on to perform her kiln in ceramic events.
Alberto is no longer with us, but he did write one time a short letter to the arte della ceramica, saying “The chianti bottle kiln has two fathers, and doesn’t need a mother !!.”
She has now just launched a new website, and of course the bottle kiln in pole position.
In such a small family world of potters, that we are, I have never in my years of world travel, as a potter come across such a devious cheating piece of scum. And I hope one day she pays a price for her actions.