This is the picture I saw when I woke up - foggy morning, sleepy, humid and warm....
With Pit firing I've learned a new word - "pit". As I understood, this technique is a combination of a primitive way to fire ceramics in a simple pit, filled with iron oxidized with acid and other materials like algae, leaves, horse hair, salts e t c... This is the description I found in Wikipedia:
"..Pit firing is the oldest known method for the firing of pottery. Examples have been dated as early as 29,000–25,000 BCE. Kilns have since replaced pit firing as the most widespread method of firing pottery, although the technique still finds limited use amongst certain studio potters. Unfired pots are nestled together in a pit in the ground and are then covered with combustible materials such as wood shavings, leaves, metal oxides, salts, sawdust and dried manure. The top of the pit may be protected with moist clay, shards, larger pieces of wood or metal baffles. The filled pit is then set on fire and carefully tended until most of the inner fuel has been consumed. At around 1,100°C (2,000°F) the maximum temperatures are moderate compared to other techniques used for pottery. After cooling, pots are removed and cleaned to reveal patterns and colors left by ash and salt deposits. Pots may then be waxed and buffed to create a smooth glossy finish..."
Isn't exciting? I almost feel myself a cavewoman!
When I arrived to the place I found my workshop mates sanding pieces.
In difference to Wikipedia description we had already fired pieces (in an electric kiln) prepared, made of hight temperature white impalpable chamotte clay.
I only had made some bangles, some little pieces and one quite imperfect and unfinished wheel thrown pot.
Do you remember these bangles?
I sanded a bit my pieces too and wrapped them with an iron mesh adding leaves and algae fixing everything with fabric and thread.
This handsome guy surprised myself licking my legs - they must be tasty hehe :)
Iron mesh and small details are added and oxidized then with acid to create rust impressions on the surface of pieces.
Iron mesh and algae.Algae are added because of high salts content which in high temperature create beautiful red coloring.
My bangles and pieces ↑ and my pot ↓ (many thanks to Catie for the arrows :))
My mistake was using new fabric - it didn't absorbe acid well.
Putting pieces to the pit
Pieces covered with algae
...and wood shavings...algae and wood shavings...salts...algae and wood shavings....salts...
I felt myself little bit witch :)
Ready to go! :)
We'll come back in few days when wood shaings are completely consumed by fire...and pots are get cold..
It's time for a nap!