Pit-fired work

In these pieces, I use an ancient pit-firing technique that has been used for thousands of years. Although I use it strictly for decorative surfaces, it was the way people of the past fired their wares to make utilitarian pottery that was essential to everyday life.

My work first receives a fine coating of clay, buffed to achieve a shiny surface, and bisque fired in an electric kiln. The pit-firing is then done in a small pit with a mixture of hardwood, sawdust, salt, and copper. Careful attention to an even, slow-burning fire must be maintained for at least a 24 hour period. The effects of the heat and the reaction of the materials gives each piece its own character, depending on where it is in the pit.

 

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