Kiln to Kitchen | Paul Blais, Brett Binford, Tim Kowalczyk | Episode 393

Paul Blais, Bret Binford, Tim Kowalczyk | Episode 393

Introducing Kiln to Kitchen. Kiln to Kitchen is about connecting potters with chefs. With the farm to table movement that is growing in its impact and importance in the food industry, there is another ingredient that needs to be addressed… the plates that the food is served on. The vast majority of restaurants are using mass produced table settings with a complete absence of the maker’s hands.

Kiln to Kitchen is going to help to close that gap and shine a light on this issue by connecting potters with chefs which will give the chef’s handmade food a handmade table settings.


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Brett: Just like knowing where the carrots came from is advertising for the farmer so knowing where your plates came from is advertising for the potter.

Tim: Brett, maybe you can speak to this. Maybe you could speak to the power of partnering with someone? 

Brett: Sure. The power of partnering is to me the idea of synergy. That is how we came up with Eutectic Gallery. The scientific meaning of Eutectic is the lowest melting point of two dissimilar materials. Philosophically that’s synergy. How do we get something done easier? How do we produce something better? And the power of partnering is in a nutshell synergy but it is identifying with people you work with. Identifying your strengths and weaknesses and identifying other’s strengths and weaknesses, that’s what partnering is all about. Cross pollination and sharing who we know and what we know with others and that all comes back to community.

Tim: What types of potters are you guys looking for? 

Paul: I would like to see anybody apply because if you know how to throw or even hand build, we are not looking for superstars, we are looking for people who have skill and that want to grow their business.

Brett: For the exhibition we are looking for a diverse group of pots from all over. Obviously  showing some sense of mastery but ultimately creatively presenting how food or beverage could be served.

Tim: When you are thinking about what you want to see through the applications and who you are going to invite you are not necessarily looking for just round plain white dishes. What kind of things are you hopeful to see in the application process as far as pottery?

Brett: I think again, diversity.

Paul: Yes, wood fired, gas fired, atmospheric, electric.

Brett: Slab built, wheel thrown…

Tim: So you are not ruling someone out because of their firing type or decoration technique. You are really looking for across the board functional work for someone to use, correct?

Brett: Yes.

Paul: And I wouldn’t even be opposed to something that might be a wall feature. It doesn’t have to be a plate feature. The point is is that we want to expose ceramics to the chefs.

Tim: Since I don’t live in the Portland area and I liked the project and wanted to get involved what are some ways that I could maybe help you guys out with this project?

Paul: I would like to see people spreading the word. It could be that you re-post it on Instagram or put it on your Facebook. If you are planning on submitting we may come up with a hashtag maybe #kilntokitchen2018. Something like that where you are spreading the word that way, I think that would be a great way to help out.

Brett: Absolutely, nationally spreading the word to other potters, encouraging them to apply, to be involved. I think even just bringing awareness in your own local region with other chefs. This is something we hope will travel in the coming years. And if you are local and in the region reaching out to local chefs and venues because we can host as many events as their are chefs and restaurants that want to host us.

Paul: I don’t even think we would be apposed to crossing the pond because we have people listening from all over the world. We have a mailing list specifically for Kiln to Kitchen so that would be a good thing to get on.

Tim: Where would they find all the information about Kiln to Kitchen?

Eutectic Gallery

Mudsharks Studio

Tim: The deadline for that will be later this spring, right?

Paul: It will be after NCECA and we haven’t nailed down the exact date but we will have that all on the website.

NOTE: The deadline is April 30th

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