Creating Reduction

Earthenware Firings: Sawdust

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.

Sawdust Firing
  • Make sure it is not accessible to children or pets who might touch the hot can if it will be left unattended.
  • Drill 1 inch holes all over a metal garbage can, about 6 inches apart.
  • Put in a bottom layer of sawdust, and then begin layering pots and sawdust. Metal hardware cloth can be placed in between to keep the pots from settling onto one another as the sawdust burns away.
  • Other combustibles may be added (see saggar firing below). The finer the sawdust the slower the burn (lack of oxygen).
  • Light the top of the sawdust with a bit of newspaper and kindling. Let it flame until it’s going well and then put the lid on loosely (prop with bricks). It should smolder but not flame to fire at a safe speed. . Let it burn down on its own, about 24 hours.