Blue and Green Spindle Form I.



Pit fired clay and clay cast glass.

13" x 16" x 13"



How is clay pit fired ?

The primitive way of pit firing is the way I went

The following pictures were taken at a pit firing on the beach in San Francisco, California. They show the basic steps in a primitive pit firing and tell you what to do in each step.


The more result way to do a pit fire

(See text down below)

 Pit-firing is yet another way of firing.

The pieces are placed into a pit or

a container, and then covered with

combustible, organic materials. Fuels such

as sawdust, pine needles, or even cow

dung can be used. The top of the

combustible layer is ignited and once

smoldering sufficiently, the pit is covered.

Just enough air is allowed inside to keep

the fuel smolding overnight (unlike at the beach).

Because of the insucifficent air supply,

carbon produced from the unburnt fuel is

deposited on the surface of the piece.

Shades of black and grey are developed

in the carbonized areas. Various hues of

the clay body (terracotta, beige, or buff)

will appear where the combustion is more

complete and carbon does not form.

High temperatures are not reached in the

pit-firing and therefore the clay body is

not matured, rendering the pieces fragile.

For this reason the pices are biscuit fired

prior to the pit-firing to provide more


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