Bill Crumbleholme Pottery Web Pages

Bronze Age Pottery and Firings

New Years Eve 31/12/03 firing.

Bill is a potter with an interest in ancient pottery, this page is about the firing of some pots made in the Bronze Age style. Various archaeologists and friends made a batch of pots, using local clay from a dig at Chickerell. Some of the clay had been fired and ground up to form "grog", this was mixed back into the clay as dust or sand sized bits. The grog helped to make the clay better at surviving the rigours of firing.

A fire had been built up and left to form a bed of glowing charcoal. This was surrounded by a layer of radial sticks, on to of which the pots were placed.

The pots were left to gently heat up. Too quick and they would break as the water in them dried out, turning to steam and bursting the pots.

Gradually the fire was built back up and ring of fire was started around the pots.

When the pots were thoroughly dried and ready, the fire was built up much higher.

Until the pots were covered with burning timber.

The pots could be seen glowing in the embers.

The fire was left to cool for a few hours. The tin cans were placed in the embers at the end of the firing, they contained sawdust with Black Burnished ware pottery, follow this link for details.


The following are some of the pots from the firing, brush cleaned, but not washed.
The clay had turned into good hard ceramic, mainly oxidised red, but with patches of smoky reduced clay. Several had minor cracks, but considering the roughness of the clay did very well.

Back to Top