Barrel Fired Ceramic Vessels
Pit and barrel-fired ceramics use the smoke and gasses within a wood fuelled fire to create decorative surfaces. Each one is unique and may have many imperfections which contribute to the character of these purely decorative pieces.
The firing process is very different to that of conventional glazed ceramics. Once thrown on a potters wheel, they are burnished to create a soft, tactile surface sheen. Several fine layers of terra-sigillata (a very fine clay) are then applied to the surface before polishing. This process is similar to the slip glaze process used by the ancient Greeks. The piece is then bisque fired in a conventional kiln.
The second stage is a wood fuelled firing within a pit or a barrel. Various materials are applied to the ceramic surface before the pots are either enclosed in containers called saggers or placed directly within the fire along with assorted combustible materials and metal oxides. The fire reaches temperatures of between 750˚c and 950˚c and burns down to ash, smoke and gasses generated bond to the surface creating unique patterns of colour.
Finally each piece is coated with mono-crystalline wax to protect it’s delicate surface.
This work is decorative only, it is not suitable for food use. Clean with a damp cloth. Refresh the shine if needed by buffing with a soft cloth.