Pit Firing or Barrel Firing a primitive technology of baking pottery while kiln had not been invented. It is also a creative method of absorbent bare clay surfaces for ornamental effects. Pots fired to low bisque temperatures are placed carefully in a pit with combustibles. The pieces are fumed by chemicals and vapors from various combustible materials as they go through oxidation and reduction atmospheres. Imprinting by smoke, the clay surface results in multiple color development range in black, brown, or grey.
Main Materials for Pit Firing
1/ Personal protection such as safety goggles, mask, flame-resistant gloves, cotton or non-flammable materials outfit with long sleeves and long trousers, shoes...etc.
2/ Buckets of water or fire extinguisher
3/ Tools to dig a hole
4/ A sheet of metal big enough to cover the hole
5/ Bisque fired pots
6/ Combustibles such as spit wood, fine & coarse sawdust, newspaper, straws..etc.
7/ Lighter fluids or gas torch
8/ Long metal tong
Disclaimer: The methods we share may not be the best option, so please be responsible for your own safety. Always follow your studio guidelines and safety instructions. If any doubt, don’t do it.