Beaker Folk - Bronze Age Website
Festival of History August 2005
Images of Bronze Age Firings

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These images were captured during the two bonfire firings staged by Bill Crumbleholme during his demonstration at the Festival of History in 2005.

A blazing wall of logs around Saturday's pots.

Towards the end of stoking, the logs cover the pottery completely. New logs placed on top help to keep the heat in - acting like a simple kiln.

Blazing away, the pots are reaching 800C

The Yurt, with a display of Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman pottery and mosaics, made by Bill.

Beakers and Black Burnished Ware

Baskets of Beakers on display

Celtic Black Burnished Ware, made by Bill during his project at Bestwall Quarry archaeological site (More at this link)

Bill's prototype mosaics, with some BB bowls. The mosaic tessera are made of various clays - including Purbeck Ball Clay, some are smoked in sawdust to give greys and blacks. The patterns are Celtic Knots - found as a design in many cultures.

An urn glowing in the dying embers of the fire.

As the embers turn to ash and blow away, the pots are revealed.

A good bed of glowing fire ensures even distribuition of temperature.

After a downpour of rain the pots have cooled and sit nestled in wet ashes, looking like they have been just excavated.

Diane, chief stoker and sales assistant, tries to dry out after the rain.

Sunday morning is bright and sunny, Diane tends to the gentle initial fire, gradually heating the urns and beakers.

A ring of fire around the heap of pots ensures even slow heating. The medieval village in the background was built on the site to house a variety of craftsmen.

Some young historians gaze at the blackening pottery, as the fire is slowly built up.

Diane demonstrates quaffing from a beaker, during a well earned break from stoking the fire.

Bill pauses for a chat with a fellow craftsman

After the firing is over, the stack of pots is ready to clean up. They are well fired, with good oxidised orange colour and only a couple are cracked. Note the beaker fired inside the urn, which protects it from excessive heat.

The urn at the front left spalled early in the firing when it got too hot too soon, water in the pot turned to steam and blew the base off.

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