Clay Arts Utah dedicated to education and advancement of the clay arts
Sign up  |   |   |  Latest Topics

  Author   Comment  

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 204
Reply with quote  #1 
Originally posted: Jul/22/04
Pit Fire Colors
I am going to my first Pit Fire in September and I am looking for suggestions for color.

I have seen a great orange from old coffee grounds, and a bright red flash I was told was caused by a peach pit. Of course, I know salt does magic things.

Other suggestions?

Hi, I have seen copper carbonate leave some nice colors. Have fun. Juanita
Bannana peals are great. Dry them first so they dont add moisture to your piece which can cause cracking. Put the died peals right against the pot when loading the pit. Makes flashes of red/orange.

Pistacio shells leave lovely red flashes. It is probably just the salt, but whatever works!
I just wanted to report back that the best performer at the pit firing was coffee mixed with sawdust. We had big cans of cheep ground coffee. It created a deep orange spread across a wide surface.

Still open to more suggestions for next time....

Check the Sagar Fire topic for some more ideas with pictures. I really liked the effect of:

salted coffee (boil used coffee grounds in salt water then dry) - red and orange

Chore Boy brand copper scrub pad, untied to create a woven copper sheet - brown or black lines in woven pattern.

Seaweed (get a big pack of Nori seaweed sheets for sushi from the asian market)
Hey Dawn, welcome back. Do the things in the sagar work the same in pit fire and vs vsa???? Confused by the post here.
After the many pit firings we have done lately, the best colors come from salt, (rock salt), an sulfates and carbonates. Cobalt is heavy, should be used very carefully, and produces, of course, blue. We found it dangerous to the surfaces when used in combination with copper...creates a sort of raku glaze on the surface. Cow and horse dung, dried, produce great greens. Copper carb. will give you fantastic reds if you hit the right temp.....but be careful, too hot and it will melt on th surface producing a black and copper metal that will destroy nearly all surface while you try to get it off. Coffee is great especially when mixed with salt. Again, careful with the salt....too much and you will have crystals growing on your piece for years. salt soaked woods are great, burn with small wood, rather than logs, burn hot and fast. We have had the best results with this technique. Remember, every pit has different results...of the three pits we have fired in, all three have a consistant, individual personality. And, each firing is an easy predictable low/high fire rules apply, so go in with general expectations and you will always be pleased. Try lining the pit with bamboo leaves, or palms....creates great shadows in the cool spots. Fruit woods are best to get darker colors in the pit. River woods tend to give us lighter shades.

best of luck.......
Previous Topic | Next Topic

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.