Life Is The Pits: Revisiting My First Pit Firing!

As the earth thaws Let’s take a deeper look at the process of pit firing!

What is a pit firing?

It is a pottery firing technique that I have been keen to try for some time. And I will be far from the first to do so. You see this is the oldest known method of firing pottery known to man. Pit fired pieces that have been found have been dated back to 29,000 to 25,000 BCE.

In order to prepare for my pit firing, there was the usual throwing of pots! This is the group I have chosen for the pit firing below:

Pottery for pit firing
Pottery pieces for pit firing

Another enjoyable step in this process was a mystical walk on the beach to gather combustible materials for my pit firing here:

Apparently anything saturated in salt has the potential for interesting effects. Thank you beach!

A more physically exerting step in the process was to dig this pit. This hole is about 2 feet deep.

Pit firing hole
Pit firing hole

After waiting two days for rain to pass, finally today, I was able to get my pottery and pit ready for firing. I had a small amount of copper wire hanging around, so I added that to two of the pots, and as you will see from the following pictures I also added some oxides. Aren’t the colours pretty? They kind of remind me of some of the colours in the Hindu festival Holi.

Pots in Pit for firing
Pots in pit for firing.

As you can see, I had a pretty roaring fire going. I just hope it got hot enough to create some interesting effects with what I added into my pit.

Pit firing on the go!

I slowly waited for the fire fuel to reach an ashen stage so that I could cover the pit.

Today I walk in the steps of the first potters and experience some of the magic of an ancient technique.

What happened next???

You can see pieces from previous pit firings here


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