Pit-Fired Vase (11 in / 28 cm tall)
This is a pit-fired vessel with the imprint of the process recorded on the surface. This is a "bare surface" process that does not use any ceramic glaze*.
11 in x 5.5 in (tall x wide)
28 cm x 13.5 cm (tall x wide)
The piece was thrown by me on a pottery wheel using using a white stoneware with a high porcelain content. It was then trimmed to the final form and smoothed by hand using a stiff rubber rib to prepare the surface. Once the piece is completely dry (before any firing), it is sprayed with several coats of an ultra-refined clay slip called terra sigallata. Between each layer I buff the surface with a soft microfiber cloth to reveal the shine.
The piece then receives the initial bisque firing so that it can be handled without breaking to prepare for the final firing. It's then wrapped in a foil cocoon with pine needles, steel wool, salt, and cobalt carbonate.
Now the fun part! The piece is placed in a pit that was dug into the ground and lined with fire bricks. The pit is lined with layers of paper and wood, and the set on fire!
Once the fire subsides, the piece is removed from the ashes and carefully cleaned. The final step is to seal it with a micro-crystalline wax to accentuate the natural beauty captured by the entire process.
*This is a "low fire" ceramic process,. The surface is still porous, so it is not considered water-tight or food safe. This piece should only be cleaned with a dry, soft cloth. Please feel free to ask any questions about care and cleaning.