Pit fired pottery

Pit firing is the oldest known method of firing clay. Unfired pots are nestled together in a pit in the ground and are then covered with burnable materials such as wood shavings, leaves, metal oxides, salts, sawdust and dried manure. The top of the pit may be protected with moist clay, shards, larger pieces of wood or metal baffles. The filled pit is then set on fire and carefully tended until most of the inner fuel has been consumed. The final pit temperature is generally low to moderate, approaching 2000 °F (1100 °C). This is in the range of temperatures used by many ancient potters or those used at the lower end for earthenware. After cooling, pots are removed and cleaned to reveal dramatic patterns and colors left by ash and salt deposits. Pots may then be waxed and buffed to create a smooth glossy finish.

Within the last 25 years, a method of staining pit fired or raku fired ware through the application of horse hair has appeared. This decorating method utilizes burnishing techniques developed by Pueblo tribes of the Southwest where a thin clay slip known as terra-sigilatta is applied to the greenware (unfired) pottery before using pieces of polished agate to burnish the pottery surface to a shine. Pots are then fired but removed from the kiln while still extremely hot. Strands of horse hair laid across hot pieces leave a linear design carbon-trapped into the still vulnerable slip surface. [http://www.bayriverpottery.com/Tech.htm#Horsehair]

ee also

* Raku ware
* kiln
* glaze


*Hamer, Frank and Janet. "The Potter's Dictionary of Materials and Techniques." A & C Black Publishers, Limited, London, England, Third Edition 1991. ISBN 0-8122-3112-0.

External links

* [http://www.holmes.anthropology.museum/southwestpottery/index.html Southwestern Native American Pottery at the Holmes Museum of Anthropology]
* [http://www.deliberatelife.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=167&Itemid=70 Step-by-step throwing and pit firing instructions]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Saggar fired pottery — Saggar firing is an alternative firing process for pottery. Saggars are boxlike containers made of high fire clay or specialized fireclay which are used to enclose pots needing special treatment in the kiln. The word saggar is thought to have… …   Wikipedia

  • Pottery — Pot and Pots redirect here. For Pot, see Pot (disambiguation). For POTS, see POTS (disambiguation). Unfired green ware pottery on a traditional drying rack at Conner Prairie living history museum …   Wikipedia

  • History of pottery in the Southern Levant — The history of pottery in the Southern Levant describes the discovery and cultural development of pottery in the archaeological area of the Southern Levant, which includes the modern day polities of Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority… …   Wikipedia

  • Salt glaze pottery — Pottery referred to as salt glazed or salted is created by adding common salt, sodium chloride, into the chamber of a hot kiln. Sodium acts as a flux and reacts with the silica in the clay body. A typical salt glaze piece has a glassine finish,… …   Wikipedia

  • Iranian pottery — Pottery vessel, fourth millennium B.C. The Sialk collection of Tehran s National Museum of Iran …   Wikipedia

  • Ceramics of indigenous peoples of the Americas — Moche portrait vessel, Musée du quai Branly, ca. 100 700 CE, 16 x 29 x 22 cm …   Wikipedia

  • arts, East Asian — Introduction       music and visual and performing arts of China, Korea, and Japan. The literatures of these countries are covered in the articles Chinese literature, Korean literature, and Japanese literature.       Some studies of East Asia… …   Universalium

  • Bennett Bean — is an American ceramic artist. Although commonly described as a studio potter, some would characterize him as a sculptor and painter who works primarily in studio pottery. Bean resides in Blairstown, New Jersey. [Bischoff, Dan.… …   Wikipedia

  • agriculture, origins of — Introduction  the active production of useful plants or animals in ecosystems that have been created by people. Agriculture has often been conceptualized narrowly, in terms of specific combinations of activities and organisms wet rice production… …   Universalium

  • Toilet — This article is about a sanitation fixture used primarily for the disposal of human excrement. For a room containing a toilet, see toilet (room). For other uses, see toilet (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.