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Lesson Plans

Re: pit firing

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Numo Jaeger and Michael Miller (jaegmil)
Thu, 05 Mar 1998 17:21:39 -0500

>Hi Lee,
>I have been teaching alternative firing techniques for a number of years.
There are several different methods of pit firing. Which method are you
interested in?
>Do you want the pieces to be black? Or smoke gray? Or with a variety of
>For the most successful results, I have my students bisque fire the work
at cone 018 before pit firing the work. That way I know none of their work
is going to blow up. You can forgo the bisque firing if you use a very open
clay body and the pieces are really dry.
>We go to the beach for the day and do our firing there. It's always a
really wonderful experience. Everyone has fun.
>I have some pictures of the process on my webpage if you are interested.
>You can get some great results with a smoldering sawdust firing too. It's
is a very simple method. I have used a garbage can with multiple holes
drilled in it. I have built small firing chambers for the sawdust with red
brick. I have even used a Webber charcoal grill.
>There is a small section in the book RAKU by Steve Branfman pitfiring.
>...I recently got back from a trip to Mexico where I studied ceramics with
Zapotec Indian potters in a small village outside of Oaxaca. Needless to
say we did not bisque our pieces before firing them. Not a single piece
blew up or was broken. What an experience!
>Numo Jaeger
>Studio One Art Center
>365 45th Street
>Oakland, CA 94606