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Pit Firing Process

At the end of the permitted burning season in 2020 my good friend Penny convinced me to attempt a pit firing. I was unconvinced with what little I had seen of the process but was willing to give it ago. Together we wrapped our pots in a range of combustible materials and loaded them into a pit we had dug on my parents property.

My ever curious pup George supervised the pit construction.

Once built, the pit was lined with sawdust (recycled from our timber workshop) to provide the carbon for the smokey effect. Each pot was wrapped in various combustible items most of which were gathered from around the property, we had various leaves and fruit pips/seed, citrus peels and egg shells. Non natural combustibles included steel wool, iron and copper oxides. At this point we were really just experimenting to see what colours we could get.

Once the pots were loaded we stacked up timber in the pit and started the fire. Allowing it to burn down until it was level with the top of the pit again and then sealing it over with a lid to create a reducing atmosphere.

The pots were allowed to cool completely in the ash pile until the following morning. While we had a lot of "lessons learnt" with the process it was fair to say that I was hooked. The only downside was that we wouldn't be able to do another pit firing until the following years burning season.


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