From the Flames

As some of you may know from my previous post, this week I completed my first pit firing. If you are interested in knowing more about this fascinating and ancient pottery technique, you can read more about it here.

I pulled these pots out from the pit early this morning. I could not resist getting up early to do so. You see I have been thinking about doing a pit firing for a few years now.

Pit Fired Pottery Vase
One of the first pieces out of the pit!

I awoke to a pit that was mostly full of ash, with a few remaining hot coals. Carefully I removed the pots, some of which were still covered with ash.

After a careful and gentle cleaning, I was really happy with some of the results. Particularly pleasing was the fact that not one of my pieces broke! Pit firing is notorious for breakage.

This type of firing requires that you wax the pots afterwards. I used beeswax, which really helped out to bring out the depth of colours in the pieces. Some people use clear coat spray on them, but I wanted to stick with more traditional methods.

These pieces are not water tight or food safe, thus they are purely decorative and little works of art and living history.

Seeing the pit afterwards and after reviewing my notes of what I put in various parts of the pit and applied to the pots, I have some ideas for my next pit firing.

Yes, I am going to try this again.

From a personal perspective, I really enjoyed the process, both on a physical and emotional level. It seems appropriate that this would be one of my first firings after my own trial of fire. From the flames can come great transformation, personal alchemy.

What do you think of this technique and pots? Are there any pieces that speak to you, or that you like? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! If you are interested in seeing more pictures of these and other pieces you can check out my new gallery I have set up for pit fired pottery on this page.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

99 Comments

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment! I like the results, as the effect is so different than you get with more modern techniques!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. Strictly speaking these are not raku, because there was no reduction involved in the process.

      1. haha! I am a bit of pottery geek who probably makes minor distinctions that most people would not. I hope you are having a great weekend.

      2. I love following new blogs to learn new things πŸ’œ My weekend is going great, hope yours is too!!

    1. Thank you Christine! That is one of my favourite pieces from this firing as well. That piece was definitely in the sweet spot of the pit!

      1. Hopefully you can find one nearby πŸ˜‰ I have been tempted to host one here in August!

    1. Thank you so much Graham! Overall I was pretty pleased and am inspired to try a few new things in my next pit firing.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment! I was really pleased everything survived, and that last piece really speaks to the process to me, you can almost see where the flames touched it!
      Ihope you have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment and joining me in the experience through my blog. It is so much fun to be able to share this with you and everyone here on WordPress!
      I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      1. Thank you so much for your kind words and thoughts. I hope you had a weekend full of goodness and happiness.

    1. Thank you! That last piece is one of my favourites as well! I hope you have a great weekend!

    1. I love your idea for a title and was thinking of that metaphor not only in regards to this firing, but also for life!
      I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I love the finish because there is a primitive beauty in it. I hope you have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! It is interesting to see how different placements in the pit and materials used has had a different impact. I am keen to experiment some more.

      I hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with peace and happiness!

    1. I am pretty pleased with them. Initially I was not sure, because they are so different from my raku work, but I realized that is what makes them so interesting.
      I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    1. I was pretty excited about that! The pottery gods were smiling on me that day! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  1. I probably have heard of pit firing but yours are the first pieces I’ve (knowingly) seen. They are even more beautiful (to me) than your raku pots. Thank you for sharing your life and adventures

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and reading about my adventures! They have a unique timeless beauty unto themselves and it is hard to even compare.
      I hope you have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you so much! What a beautiful comment, I did think of that imagery too! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

  2. The beeswax was new to me. I love how it brings out the colors. It is amazing that these were my human hands. They look as if they are objects made by some mysterious natural process. These are filled with mystery and beauty!

    1. The wax made such a nice finish for these pieces, Thank you so very much for your kind comment and I hope you are having a wonderful day!

  3. Very earthy and antique-looking, which I really appreciate. I can see lovely colorful wildflowers inside for a blend of color and texture, or some dried seed-heads or grasses, or just all by themselves. Your experimentation and natural crafting would make a great YouTube series. And congratulations on your new studio! πŸ˜€

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and ideas. So much has been going on that I have not gotten around to trying some arrangements in my pieces, but I want to before all the flowers are gone! I did set up a youtube channel a little while ago, and really need to get back into that. I hope you are having a wonderful week.

    1. My pleasure. Thank you for taking the time to check them out. I hope you are having a good day!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. They do seem like something the Earth made, which is interesting because when they come out of the pit after firing they are literally coming from the work.
      I hope you are having a wonderful week and day!

  4. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Grief is different for each of us. Please feel the support of my heart here. Continue making beauty from ashes.

    1. Thank you so much for your kindness and heartfelt support. You and the kindness of others here helps to brighten my days and make jumping back into my creative pursuits easier, and for that I am grateful. I hope you are having a wonderful week.

    1. Thanks Jamie! Your are right that you have very limited control in the process, all you can do is prepare the best you can through creating the pots and adding the reduction materials and have faith the fire will do it’s job! I already have ideas for some new reduction materials for my next firing like this.

      1. I may try those as well! A friend in construction also just gave me a bunch of steel shavings to try as well πŸ˜‰

  5. I think it’s an amazing experience to reconnect with techniques from so long ago. Plus how beautiful they are. Amazing works of art. Makes you wonder how these things were first discovered!

    1. I have often wondered how the first people to do pottery realized that clay would harden and hold liquid after being in a fire. I suspect it was slow evolving process, and the thought is very fascinating to me as well.
      I hope you have a great day and wonderful weekend!

    1. Thank you so much for your very kind comment Anand! I hope you have a wonderful week ahead.

    1. You are very welcome and thank you for kind and insightful comment. I find all of the elements inspirational in very different ways!

      1. You’re very welcome. Thank you also for your support. This particular pottery technique is fascinating. I hadn’t seen this before. The end result is brilliant. πŸ™‚

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