At the pottery class I’ve been going to, we’ve been making pinch pots. Last night we smoke fired them, burying them in a bin full of newspaper and sawdust, and letting the smoke curl around their rounded shapes. The smoke, plus the chemicals from the colours in the newsprint, leaves marks on the bisque fired clay. After about half an hour, we removed the pots and let them cool before heading back to the studio to buff them up to a soft shine with beeswax. You carve your initials into the base of your pots to identify them. One woman with the same initials as me tried to claim the tallest vessel you see in the picture. But like babies, you know your own, and I wrested my pot back from her grasp so I could complete my little group of three. (I did find hers still lurking unfired in a cupboard, so she was happy. Which is good, as she looked like she would definitely win if it came to a fight.)
I love the unpredictability of the outcome with this firing method. Once you put everything in the burner, it’s all in the hands of the fire gods. I think they did a pretty nice job – I love these neutral colours with the occasional flash of turquoise or orange where the pot touched the newsprint.