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Re: Pit firing


From: Grace Hall (gchall_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Oct 28 2003 - 10:37:05 PST

I have always wanted to do pit firing too, so I'm really glad you asked, and
it's also good to see Jeff know's how to do it. I have seen directions for
making one on the Internet, but it was so long ago, I don't know how to
direct you to it. I suppose you could just Google "pit firing".

If you can get your hands on the Crizmac film about Maria Martinez's pottery,
she does a pit firing using cow dung!!! I would imagine it serves the same
purpose that Jeff mentioned with the peat moss.

The closest I've ever come to actually doing a pit firing was on a camp out.
The kids found a clay pit and dug a whole bunch up and made some little bowls
and cups. We then put them into the embers of the fire, and kept the fire
going all night....carefully placing new wood on the fire so as not to crush
the pottery. The next morning we dug our little pieces out of the ashes, low
and behold, they were solid as a rock! Not the prettiest things mind you,
but the kids thought it was really neat.

Best of luck, and let us know how it turns out if you do it!

On Tue, 28 Oct 2003 09:35:24 EST, CVsnare wrote
> Meant to add to my last post -- I also use a mixture of sawdust and
> peat moss when pit firing (quite a bit more sawdust than peat moss).
> The peat moss is supposed to help to increase the heat by smoldering
> at a very hot temperature. Don't know if this is scientifically
> correct, but I got this idea from a video on pit firing that I once
> saw somewhere. Jeff in GA
> ---