Pit Firing November 2018

This page records the pit firing undertaken at West Bexington, Dorset in November 2018, by local potters Jennie Hanrahan and Bill Crumbleholme, with the assistance of members of their classes and the hosts Henry and Sue (and their tribe).

See also archive page about previous pit firing in June 2018

In this firing the pottery had previously been fired in electric kilns to turn it ceramic, this firing being done to enhance the appearance of the surfaces by introducing smoke and flashes of colour from burning other materials that wood.

This is an archive of photographs taken before, during and after the firing, with some comments.






A batch of Globe pots were made by Bill Crumbleholme

These were made available to class members for them to burnish and slip and submit to the flames.


Members of the classes prepared various vessels and sculptures, using a variety of clays and "seasonings".


The pots were burnished while leather hard to smooth the external surface, this was repeated as the pots dried. Very fine Terra Sigillata slip was then applied in several very thin coats to the dry surface, which produced a super smooth finish. That slip was prepared using ball clay, mixed in water with deflocculants, after settling the larger particles sank and were discarded, the water that floated up was also removed and the middle section used as the slip.






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Thanks to :-

Henry and Sue at West Bexington, together with their families and friends, for being willing volunteers/slaves!

All the class members who joined in the project, making and helping with the firing.