PIT FIRING DAY FOR POTTERY MEMBERS
Late in February members of the pottery group were invited by Liana Volpe to participate in a pit firing at her property. Liana did much of the hard physical work by digging the very large pit as well as organising the whole process. She was capably assisted by Linda Perry with collecting all the organic material to be burnt in the pit with members’ pots and sculptures.
Our vessels and sculptures were placed 20-30cm into a sawdust base on the bottom of the pit. Next came a layer of organic materials including dried banana skins, macadamia nut shells, copper carbonate and salt. A substantial amount of dried leaves and twigs, then bigger branches and wood off cuts were layered on top and crumpled newspaper was wedged into any gaps. The whole pit was covered with sheets of corrugated iron, with a few gaps left for smoke to escape. The newspaper was lit and the pots were fired at a hot temperature for 2-3 hours. The fire was allowed to burn to ashes. A few days later Liana and Linda carefully removed the pottery from the ash.
Many thanks to Liana for allowing us to experience this ancient and exciting firing process at her property.