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Re: Pit firing

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From: Kathy Hughes (kchughes55_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Oct 28 2003 - 03:51:14 PST


I've done sawdust firing at school using a large metal garbage can. I drilled holes in the sides, bottom and top and lifted it off the ground with some bricks. You really need to bisque the pieces first or there will be some breakage. Put chicken wire in the middle to use as a shelf. I wired it through the holes after loading the bottom part of the can with sawdust and pots.Light the top and cover. Let it sit until it burns down. You can use organic materials like banana peels, etc. for color and texture. I did this last year on school grounds with my students, we were studying Southwest Native American potters.
I wanted them to have a traditional type of firing experience and digging a hole was not an option for us. The principal was a little reluctant about the whole thing anyway but I got release forms signed by parents and everything turned out great. I probably have some photos I could send if you're interested in the results. Also, the pieces look best if burnished.
Kathy Hughes

art inmind <artinmind@hotmail.com> wrote:
Has anyone done pit firing in ceramics at their school? I have been looking
into the idea of digging a hole in the ground and doing an overnight firing
with my middle school classes. Can someone point me in the direction of
good resources for this process? Has anyone out there done it and have
great pointers for me?
Lynn

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