Zach Sierke is a Fairhope native and has grown up with the idealistic vision and natural beauty of the community as a deeply ingrained source of inspiration in all aspects of his life.
A childhood spent deep sea fishing with passionate and myopic focus actively engaged him in understanding the alien world beneath the surface - an approach to problem solving that has informed his life-long interests in gardening, yoga, surfing, music, and understanding the transformation of native clays in wood-fired kilns.
Zach came to clay during his freshman year at Eckerd College and immediately became obsessed with the ceramic process. The next four years were spent returning to Fairhope, investigating centuries-old kiln sites (including his great, great grandfather's), hand-mining native clays from every available deposit, and transporting them back to Eckerd College - where he tested them in the wood-fired kiln that he helped build.
He returned to Fairhope after graduation with the plan to build a small kiln and create a body of work with which to apply to graduate school for ceramics. Through a series of fortuitous events and the generosity and support of the community, he became engaged in the construction of a uniquely innovative, well-researched, and large anagama kiln.
Over the years of working on the kiln project, a cooperative oasis of sustainable-minded community has evolved around the 1880's farmhouse and the centuries old live oak trees.