Let the Beauty of what you Love be what you Do...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday is Clay Day... Part 3

The pots have made it through the bisque, and are now ready for the pit fire! Below are the beautiful pots all ready to get thrown into the fire. As you can see by the work here, there are some quite talented ladies in my class. I try (and do not succeed very well) not to be envious of their pots!!! Though, I have to remind myself... I am not retired, nor independently wealthy... currently I'm just a working stiff, & thus I simply do not have the time most of these lovely ladies have to put into this class. I try (really hard!) to keep this in perspective! 

The Pit Fire goes like this:
1) Dig Hole,
2) Stuff Pallets with Crumpled Newspaper & Place in Hole,
3) Stack Pots on top of Pallets.

(The Pots themselves make a cool abstract art form, don't you think?!)

Once the pots are all stacked, you cover them with bark from the Ponderosa Pine (this is what gives the finished pot the "smokey" look) and various scrap wood & light the whole thing on fire!

Everyone in class is an active participant... from digging the pit, stuffing the pallet, keeping an eye on the fire, etc. The whole process takes around 3 hours.

After the wood burns down, the pots are soon ready to take out out of the ashes. 

Below are some pics of my finished pot~

Hmmmmm. I do like it, but I have to admit I am a bit partial to the golden orange of the bisque fire! The smokey effect of the final firing is fairly unpredictable, depending on how the wood burns, and in my opinion it came out just a little too smokey.

But, what the heck, it's my first micaceous pot, I have a lot to learn (story of my life...) and while you cannot control the end results, I believe you can learn to manipulate them a bit more. I have 2 more pots I'm concurrently working on, plus some various hand building projects, and my little bear made it out of the glaze firing... but we'll save that for another post... it's late, and it's back to work Tamale...


DirtKicker Pottery said...

Becky your pot turned out so awesome!! The smoke effects are just gorgeous. I've never done pit firing myself, but I do love the results. Way nice.

snoring solutions said...

Waw,marvalous and beautiful.The clay pots are very amazing.

Pat said...

I've never seen nor heard of this kind of firing. It's really cool! I think your pot turned out great!

Rick said...

We've had lots of pallet fires at my son's house, but never for firing pots !! I would never have guessed - I figured you would use a kiln. I learn something from fellow bloggers almost every day.

I kinda like that smokey look and I think it turned out great ! Nice work Becky.

Wanda..... said...

It's a very interesting process and look, Becky. The next to last photo of your lovely pot...reminds me of a desert sunset scene!

joco said...

Hiya Becky,

That is impressive.
Can't believe those pots were home-made (thrown? turned? What way were they made before you ashed them?)
And then that lovely intriguing finish.
I'd never stop talking about this if I had produced something so wonderful.
I can just see it standing on a mat woven from your homespun yarn.
Sorry, I am an interloper from the UK. I followed comments from one to the other. I also spin and weave and stuff. Can't make a pot for the life of me though.

jo©o said...

Beg your pardon:
I can't find a label when it is under my nose. Going through your pot story this morning, as it is raining cas and dogs over here.

becky said...

Hi Joco,
Thanks for the visit. The pots are hand coiled... I am certain you could make one... it only takes patience & desire! I couldn't find weavings on you blog, but would love to see them!

jo©o said...

You've got mail!
(Last time today, I promise :-)

Annie said...

Becky, I relate to the no TIME thing, but I think your pot is every bit as wonderful as any of the others. I am very impressed with your this first coiled piece!

Randy said...

Becky your pot is so beautiful! I liked it bisqued but the finish product is amazing. Bravo!

Dee said...

This looks like fun...I can see why pottery is costly. Not just creativity but time and patience.

bfarr said...

Becky, I think your pot looks great. I really like the 'smoke' effect. Never heard of this type of firing before, so I guess that means you are not the only one still learning things.

Thanks for stopping PCADP and leaving kind and interesting thoughts.


Lisa (Mountain Photog) said...

That is such a cool process! And your pot turned out beautifully! It is frustrating to not have all the time in the world to devote to art, isn't it? Ah, well, maybe some day. :)

clairz said...

I enlarged the photos of your pot a couple of times and wow! there is a lot going on on the surface of it! I would want to hold it and turn it and stare at it for a long time. Amazing process, and amazing results. Perhaps a little bit like raising children--you have control over part of the process and hope for the best with the rest!

Lisa said...

Becky it turned out lovely . All your work is amazing. I would have loved to learn this.
Im in aww.
Becky thanks for your visits. Have a great day.

Barb said...

Hi Becky, I've been thinking of you! I was in SF last Fri and again today (Mon). Will stay overnight and leave for home tomorrow. I was off internet for awhile and just got on to see if you fired the pot. It's wonderful - I love the smokey desert colors. It looks so "finished" for your first attempt! Do you live right in SF? It's a busy town! If you see a white-haired lady with a camera attached to her neck - it's me!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely result! Looks like a fun day, and your photgraphs of it are great. Really nice blog!

Carolynn said...

Very, very cool. I want to do one! I love that it was done without any modernization, other than, perhaps, a bic lighter. *smile*

Thank you so much for the lovely note you left over at my place. You're welcome to visit any time.