Oh Dear…. a few days late again!!
Sunday was a bit of a busy day….. we visited friends on Sunday afternoon for a low key housewarming party, and didn’t get home till quite late!
The day before, Saturday, I did a pit firing to complete a few pieces I am thinking of entering into some upcoming ceramic awards, and had grand plans of unloading the pit on Sunday and writing my Studio visit blog post – but all I got in before we had to leave for the housewarming was a sneak peek, which I dutifully shared on Instagram.
Then yesterday, Monday, I had to go to Melbourne for a catch up dinner with my mum and my two adult sons, and in the process i just get around to getting anything much else done!!
So today, Tuesday, I am writing the blog post I wanted to share on Sunday – sorry for the delay!!
The artworks I had in the pit include a piece already accepted into the Manningham Ceramics Award, and two other pieces I am planning to enter into other awards whose deadlines are looming.
My pit is quite large, and I alter its size, depending on how much work I have to fire, with fire bricks. In this firing I also packed some smaller pieces (which make up one artwork) within sawdust in tin saggars as I wanted to get as much smoking/black firing as possible.
The colour responses I attained from the pit are not the best I have ever achieved, but the nature of pit firing is the lack of control and the random nature of the fire based on so many variables, such as the temperature, the season, the wood used, the clay used, the condition of the pit (where I live I can only do pit firings in Winter due to fire restrictions, and it can be really wet cold where I live) and other combustibles introduced to the pit.
Overall, however, I am happy with the results – it is the nature of ceramics that one must be happy with what the kiln gods delver, otherwise you would go insane!! (well i would anyways)
Following is a short photo essay of the procedure I took for the day, but also check out the book I have written about pit firing (yes, unabashed self promotion!) available on Amazon and other online bookstores, plus some brick & mortar stores.
love the yellow colour on that larger triangular piece.. and your book is a great one for inspiration and reminders of techniques…
thanks Anna – the larger piece is for the Manningham Ceramic Award, and thanks for the kind words on my book 🙂
you are welcome Dawn and good luck at the Manningham
I’ve only done one pit firing but I loved it. Now you’ve got me thinking about doing another one really soon. Thanks. Your pots look great.
thanks, glad to have inspired you back into another pit firing 🙂