Pit Firing Birthday Celebration

WSP members celebrated Sue Broadhead’s 70th birthday with a pit firing in her garden.  Bisque pots were wrapped in copper wire, tea bags, seaweed, banana skins, leather and salt soaked pants!!

Pots were packed into the large pit amongst sawdust and straw, which was then lit……stand well back or else you will get your eye brows singed (mentioning no names!!)

Patience is needed as the pit will smoulder for a couple of days before the grand opening on Sunday.

All this excitement, followed by a lovely lunch in the garden.

Best wishes Sue, what a great way to spend your big birthday, hope you enjoyed yourself, I think everyone else did.

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Tuesday Evening Pit Firing

Christine Bull’s Tuesday evening class had a wonderful pit firing at Sarah Bowler’s house on 21st May.  There is also a display of photos in the corridor at The Pottery and there will be a display in the cabinet.

This is the second pit-fire day Sarah has hosted at her home near Petworth – our first was last summer and this time we had almost a full class joining in.  We started at 9.30 loading the pit with tubes of newspaper round the edge to draw the draught in, sawdust, copper sulphate, seaweed, salt, pots, more sawdust, kindling and large timbers. Some of our pieces were sprayed with salt, iron, copper or seaweed solution. Once a good fire was going we covered it with corrogated sheeting and went for a much needed coffee and cake on Sarah’s terrace.

We did 3 raku firings during the day, plus one smoke firing, while the pit did it’s job, so either side of lunch we were busy!  Lunch was, yet again, a wonderful ‘pot’ lunch and the weather was ideal for relaxing outside.

This time we decided to let the pots cool till the next day, so many of us returned the following evening to dig into the ‘lucky dip’!  We are pleased generally with our pots and forms – it is so exciting washing them off and polishing them.  Sarah’s partner took some wonderful photos during the day.


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Pit Firing

Last weekend students from Katrina’s Wednesday and Thursday evening classes got together in one of the National Trust’s woodlands near Haslemere to have a Pit Firing. The NT Foresters kindly dug the pit – 5m. x 1m. x 1m. and supplied all the wood / sawdust / chippings and ferried pots etc from the cars to the site in their 4×4 vehicles.

The students supplied barbeque food / cider / beer – oh yes, and some pots.

The pit packing got underway mid morning on Saturday in warm sushine and under a blue sky and was ready to light by midday. Then the eating / drinking got underway – some hardy people even camping out overnight to keep an eye on the pit.

All reconvened at the pit on Sunday evening (in the rain) to unpack the pit and help clear up the site. Inspection of the results will take place in the classes where conclusions will no doubt be drawn as to whether pots have been successful or what alterations need to be made to methods for the next firing to which the NT Foresters have kindly invited everyone back.

Regards Nigel Hobbs

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