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Born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1932, Nils Lou was a driving force in the development of the wood-firing community in Oregon. The son of Danish immigrants, Lou was a multifaceted artist, working in clay, painting, and sculpture, while also designing and building wood kilns across the United States and writing several books on the subject of firing and making pottery. Lou’s academic and professional training spanned the globe, including service in the United States Air Force as a captain and senior navigator from 1954 to 1959. He taught at several universities and frequently led large communal firings at the well-known East Creek anagama kiln. Even in his later years, Nils relentlessly explored the possibilities of clay and was a proponent of the belief that “play is an essential part of being creative.”
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