After working with the Raku technique of reduction I became interested in what is known as Pit firing, and was able to take part in some of these firings. My problem was that this technique was difficult, living as I did in the heart of the city, unable to dig a hole in the ground. I was lucky that Professor Yehuda Koren very generously solved my problem by teaching me the “bin firing”, which for me was as useful as the “hole”.


Hole Charging

Firing Begining


This is a simple technique. The object is to achieve the reduction with metallic salts and oxides without glaze, thus obtaining rustic finishes or surfaces, at the same time very colourful in red, orange, grey, and black tones.

Once dry, the shaped and moulded pieces are biscuit, below 95ºC and 1000ºC to allow a good absorption of the salts. These are then dipped in solutions of Iron Sulphate, Copper Sulphate and Borax, then dried, fundamental as no dampness must remain, which would wet the sawdust or wood used.

Bin Firing
Wood Charge

If only black or white is required, the pieces will not be submerged in the above-mentioned solution, and will be placed in the bin on their own. To avoid any mix-ups, I use two bins, one for the pieces with salts and another to obtain the whites and blacks.

To make the kiln a bin or tub is used, cutting off one of the ends, which is used as a lid. Holes are drilled in the lower part allowing air to circulate and to light it. It is filled as far as the air holes and the pieces to be filled and small pieces of wood mixed with Borax, again wood and pottery pieces subsequently until finished. The space is covered with wood, sawdust and lit at the top and bottom. During the firing, damp clothes can be placed around to cover and prevent excessive smoke, to avoid contamination as we are in an urban atmosphere.

Once finished, the pieces are removed and washed. This is a simple and quick technique and I hope that this way of firing will help other urban ceramists to take courage and try it.

Turning on the Hole Firing Bin Damp Clothes

You can see some results in "My Work", in ceramics like “ni blanca, ni negra, ni gris” and “Nacer, morir. Elegir”

My Work
Bin firing
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