The passion potters possess pertaining to pit fire pottery is a hot topic! The more I work toward this direction the more excitement builds – tempered with the grounding mantra “it’s an experiment” of course.
Here is a great example of awesome pit fire work, found on Facebook, Guarnera Potter – be sure to check out his other pieces on Facebook!
Speaking of Combustables!
- Banana peel. Orange-ish
- Coffee grounds. Gray-ish, orange-ish
- Copper carbonate and salt. Green, red and black
- Copper, cobalt and iron sulphates. Blue and red colors
- Copper wire. Most often black – if lucky red or green
- Ferric chloride. Often used in splashes. Great tones from dark red to light pink
- Sea weed. Colors depend totally on the type, the amount of salt in it etc.
- Steel Wool (black patterns)
- Many different kinds of other organic materials, nuts, leaves etc.
Great webpage and Pottery works: https://robertcomptonpottery.com/index.php/vermont-studio/firing-methods/pit-firing/
Step-by-Step Instructions from renowned Marcia S., MSU, on ceramicartdaily.org
when teaching primitive firing techniques and firing local clay using a pit (in the ground hole) I did the following:
- 1. dig a hole about 2-3 ft deep.
- 2. cut an edge about half way up the wall that will support a grate or square BBQ grill. Can use more than one grill in a longer hole.
- 3. start a wood fire in the lower part of the hole, letting good coals accumulate.
- 4. place the grate on the ledge.
- 5. let the pots absorb the heat from the blazing fire.
- 6. place the pots upside down on the grate.
- 7. cover with well dried cow pies to a height at least 1-1.5 ft. above ground level.
- 8. Let it smolder. You can use sheet metal to seal off wind for better blacks.
- 9. AFter a few hours, flames will burst to the surface.
- 10. Let it cool and unload.