search  current discussion  categories  kilns & firing - pit firing 

carbon markings in pit-firing

updated mon 15 nov 04


Bacia Edelman on sun 14 nov 04

Heather: Although I no longer do pit-firing, I believe I used to use
a hand-held propane fuel burner and aim the flame at the creosote
or shiny carbon deposits. Use with care.

I read Bonnie Staffel's answer and was surprised to read that she
scoured her pots with water and ammonia and dish soap. I never dared
do anything like that--washing my pit-fired pots.
I used to get sawdust mainly and it was
from oak users.

Good luck.

During a recent pit-firing I found that the results were heavily marked in
some places by black, shiny carbon deposits. (I think it was because there
was paper on the surface of the pot at that place, or the bonfire did not
get hot enough - any ideas?) I'm planning to refire them in the electric
kiln to clean up the surface. Previously I've taken them up to 950 degrees
which has burnt off everything except really deep copper marks, leaving the
pot virtually white again. Does anyone one know the minimum temperature I
could use to burn away excessive carbon on the surface? Could I get away
with much less than 950? Ideally, I'd like to get rid of the carbon
blackening but keep some of the coloured markings left by the pitfire.

Thanks, Heather.


Bacia Edelman
Madison, Wisconsin