Primitive Firing Workshop

Members enjoyed the fresh spring air while we did a great primitive pit fire out in the country just 25 min north of Cochrane. We loaded up stoneware pieces (that most had been bisque fired) into our 2 foot deep pit in the ground. We layered pots then combustibles including cow and horse manure, straw, leaves, newspapers and sticks, then more pots and more combustibles, then finally a layer of wood that we kept adding to once it was ignited. We burned the pile of wood down till we had a nice bed of coals for a fresh layer of wood to be added then closed the pit with a nice piece of sheet metal. We laid bricks on the top of the sheet metal to make sure the wind didn’t take the cover off.

We let it smolder for 12 hours or so and opened it up the next morning. We still had some fire going in the pit, although it wasn’t much. We were able to unload the pieces and were amazed at what we saw! Some pieces had leaf impressions burned into the pot, some had brown coloring from the manure burning beside it, others were blackened by the smoke of the fire, and some had many different elements on the walls. They were all beautiful in their own way.
All and all it was a very fun and exciting experience to unload the pit to see all the different colors and patterns everything made on the pots. The pottery was featured in the movie The Revenant as well, and were hard to see in the movie, but if you look closely in some shots they are there! They made the cut!

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