Battling with soaring temperatures and engulfed in flames, Steve Macias’ artistic process is a trial by fire.
A U.S. Navy veteran, Steve never wanted to be a potter. “We have a family rule that you can’t say no, so when my daughter asked me to give it a try, I had no choice.” He uses all kinds of pottery techniques but is well-known on the McKinney art scene for his theatrics in raku firing, a method traditionally used to create tea bowls for Japanese tea ceremonies.
Using a special kiln he designed and built with his father, a self-proclaimed “welder, fabricator and inventor,” Steve’s pots are fired at temperatures reaching over 2000 degrees. Glowing red, the pots are removed from the kiln and placed on newspaper, which instantly bursts into flames. The unpredictable nature of fire and the way oxygen interacts with the pots’ glaze creates unique patterns and intense colors.
See Steve in action during the 8th Annual McKinney Art Studio Tour in downtown McKinney on November 12 and 13, when you can visit more than 20 art studios and 60 artists within a three block radius. Find out more at mckinneyartstudiotour.com
Photography by Stephanie Tann.