Collection: Pit Fire

Pit Firing is a one of the oldest methods of low firing pottery. Elements such as metals, salt, and carbon, contribute to interesting effects on the surface. Each pot is nestled into a bed of sawdust in bonfire kiln. 

These pots are not food safe as even a barrel engulfed in flames does not get as hot as a kiln. The clay bodies are unglazed and never brought to their maturation temperature. This means the pieces are unvitrfied, maintaining a level of porosity that isn't suitable for food use; despite have many layers of sealant applied. They're great as decorative pieces in your home or for dry, non-food storage.

Each piece requires 4-5 coats of terra sigillata before bisque fire. "Terra sig," as potters refer to it, is a very thin unrefined slip that was by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Every coat is hand-burnished between applications to give pieces a smooth sheen and texture in lieu of glaze. 

When pots are pulled out of the pit, they have a thick crust of burnt carbon, slip, and other materials stuck to them. Cleaning them up is a labor of love that is akin to excavating for lost treasure. I hope you are just as fascinated and appreciative of the process behind this primitive technique!