I discovered the adventure of pit firing with my new favourite woman, Joy. See the above markings and and amazing textures on those pots above? That was all the result of pit firing, my new favourite thing to do on the weekend. Yes my weekends get pretty wild.
Joy is lucky enough to have a huge, beautiful rambling garden and house in the mountains of some of Victoria's most picturesque countryside. She invited me out there with her a few weeks back to start experimenting with the effects of pit firing. The magic of pit firing is that you never know what the results will be. When you throw a whole heap of ceramic pots into a hole in the ground, cover them with timber and leaves and set fire to them, the results are always going to be unexpected.
This is Joy, isn't she gorgeous!? We did a whole range of experiments with the pots, using coffee grindings, painting them with slip, using salt and different types of leaves to surround the pots. The best results came from burnishing the pots, which is what Joy did to her two beautiful vessels at the start of this post.
Living in Bombay now, it may prove difficult for me to experiment further with this technique for the time being, but the results were so beautiful and the process so fun that I can't wait to find some Indian ceramicists practising in this way at some stage soon.