Short explanation on pit firing technique.
Pit firing is the oldest known method to fire ceramic and was used as soon as 6000 years BC. A pit was dug in the ground, the ceramic put inside and firewood on top.
Barrel firing is a bit of a younger method but old nevertheless. The open fireplace has been moved to a closed space such as barrels for example. It is convenient because it is possible to travel with the barrels, control the oxygen flow better and therefore increase the temperature a little bit to get a wider color palette.
These firings are made outside so the elements of nature, Earth, Water, Air, and Fire influence the outcome. The choice of firewood is also important for the final result. Different kinds of wood, cow or horse manure, seaweed, coffee grounds, copper wire, steel wool and different kinds of chemicals are used to create different colors and patterns.
The final result can not be controlled and each work is unique. The artist is a participant in the process but not in complete control. He is connected to nature while he for hours tends to the fire. In the autumn at sunrise, the bright summer nights and on winter evenings with the aurora dancing in the clear sky.
It is always an exciting event when these kilns are opened and the results are revealed. To see how the unpredictable power of the universe has treated the artwork.