I had the joy of attending Patricia Millars course on pit firing
Her work is very site-specific, both for its environment and ancestry. She gathers materials from a place to make the work. Patricia uses locally gathered fuel to pit fire just like our ancestors. She digs local clay and makes her own ash glaze. Wood firing and pit firing create her unique surfaces.
It’s not just about capturing the forms and textures of a place but also its very essence by being made of it.
It is amazing all on the things that can be used to fire your pots I really enjoyed the fact that we were in a way eco printing onto our pots. We got to draw onto our pots with iron and copper crayons. Then wrapped them in organic material we used seaweed and coffee granules I covered parts of my pots in tin foil which burns off in the kiln. The only thing that is really important is that everything needs to be dry as too much dampness can make pots exploded
So I started off with white pots wrapped them and then helped pack the fire no idea what will be the outcome may be even some broken pots.
The pit was not in the ground like on Patrica website as we did not have the time for it and we were in an area of bog and well Patrica didn’t want to risk burning the natural landscape so we used a bin. Layering it up with hard big pieces if wood then sawdust and the screeded paper then pots sawdust and paper with a small sprinkling of copper and salt stuff (can’t remember technical term) and repeat until we were full. We then stacked up a fire pile with kindling and newspaper made our wands and slowly it started to catch. Then it was a waiting game and dodge the rain game.
I could not attend the 2nd day to see the bin being opened but I was very surprised with the colors of my pot who would have thought that you could get pinky reds blues and deep purple color from wood seaweed and coffee.
These pots are amazing I love them I enjoyed the process
This has got me thinking this could be a good way to do an art therapy workshop with clients as you are essentially using your waste to create something beautiful as we used stuff that we just throw in the bin its discarded stuff. we created something new from the ashes something unique that can never be again. This could be a theme for a group where they could walk away with something physical of there rubbish this could be symbolic of something in their life. As well as this we done this outside we used nature we socialized in nature our studio was the world around us we where connected and because we worked together and all of our work was in one pit we cared for each other together as when we had our pots wrapped we did not know who was who and so had to treat every pot as if it was our own. I am defiantly going to do the longer course