Water → Air
Air → Earth
Earth → Fire
Fire → Water

The actual firing of a wood kiln is simply burning wood. To get the intense heat needed, a huge amount of wood is burnt, but in essence it is just tending a fire. It's elemental. To commemorate my first ever wood fire I wanted to make something as fundementally elemental and thought of the four ancient elements: water, air, earth, fire. But clay (water and earth) is transformed in the kiln (fire and air), so I didn't want to treat the elemental as eternal and unchanging - I wanted to depict elements as transitional. I chose four subjects that each straddled a pair of elements. For example, the bat dines in the air; sleeps in the earth.

A few details:

Inside each yunomi, an inverse pair of overlapping alchemical symbols representing the two elements is carved opposite each other.

In folklore, the salamnder is impervious to fire.

The tree by the bat cave is a laurel. A reference to Apollo slaying a giant serpent at what would become the site for the Oracle of Delphi; an example of an air god usurping an earth site.

technique info

Water → Air Air → Earth
Earth → Fire Fire → Water