Before last fall’s hubbard squash supply finally rotted in the cellar in April, I made a few final hubbard squash bowls. On one of the larger squashes, I draped a large slab of clay, which made a very large bowl like, yet irregular organic shape. This large shape sat on my “to be bisqued” shelf, waiting for a purpose and for intent. In the past few months, my squash have become bowls and platters in an assortment of glazes and they have been fired in a raku kiln which produced vibrant green and copper colors. The only technique left in my clay repertoire was “Pit Fire!”
This past week, I carefully applied the terra sigilatta, a sort of tinted thin liquid clay, which makes the surface of the clay shiny and a canvas for the colors of the smoke and pit. The squash and other items to be pit fired were kiln bisqued at a low temperature, so the clay surface remains porous and can absorb smoke from the fire and organics in the fire. Fingers are crossed–no pieces have cracked yet–but as we know, anything can happen at any time.
The pit fire will be next weekend at my sister, Beth’s, back yard. Looking forward to some good results!