Creating Reduction

Earthenware Firings: Pit

CAUTION: Check with your Fire Department about local fire regulations, and have a good water supply nearby. Do not wear fabric that melt or ignites easily. Do not used treated wood or plywood that can release toxic fumes when burned.

Pit Firing

  • CAUTION: See top of page.
  • First, make a shallow pit or low enclosure of common brick, and build a fire in order to produce a bed of hot coals.
  • Preheat the pots on the edge of the pit, and gradually moved them closer to the coals. When they have reached about 650° F, it is safe to put them into the coals and begin to build a fire over them.
  • Once the pots reach about 850–1100° F, or a dull red glow, smother them with combustible material such as sawdust, or dried cow/horse dung to create a reduction atmosphere which will turn them black.
  • After about 15–20 minutes, they may be taken out and allowed to cool.