Pit Fired Ceramics Workshop - October 26-27, 2019
We are excited to announce a pit-fired ceramics workshop in Joshua Tree over the weekend of October 26-27th with our friends Stray Ceramics! Pit firing is the oldest known method for firing pottery, which dates back 30,000 years. Typically this is done in a hole in the ground, where pots are placed and burned. Modern day ceramicists use the pit firing method for the unique colors and patterns produced from this atmospheric process. Bisqued pots are placed in the pit and surrounded with combustible materials such as wood, salt, dried manure and metal oxides. The pit is then set ablaze and these items turn to vapor and swirl around the pots in the pit. Once the fire has reached about 1500° the pores in the clay open and accepts the colored vapor, which is what you see in the end result. Due to the relatively low temperatures in this type of firing, pit fired pots are meant to be admired and are not meant for food or water use.
Tayler Straziuso of Stray Ceramics and Brian Schirk are ceramic artists based in 29 Palms. They often incorporate pit firing into their work and are very excited to share their experience and techniques in this two day introduction to pit firing ceramics workshop. On the first day, they will give a brief history of pit firing, go over material and fire safety, then give participants the tools to successfully do their own pit firing. Participants will then collaboratively put this information to use in pit firing their own work. On the second day, the group will unveil their work from the pits, then clean and wax or seal the work. Lastly, the group will have a discussion about their results and walk away with some beautiful art.
Participants will have one square foot of space to fire work and will be asked to bring their own bisqued work. Not able to bring your own work? No problem! This workshop is open to everyone. There will be original handmade bisqued A-Z West bowls and Stray Ceramics pots available for pre-order purchase after you sign up for the workshop.
This two-day workshop is hosted in Joshua Tree, CA by High Desert Test Sites, and will be held on October 26th from 2 pm to 10 pm and on October 27th from 9 am to 1 pm, with exact location TBD. There will be a curated potluck dinner Saturday night and breakfast Sunday morning. Camping spots at A-Z West are available for those who do not have alternative accommodations. There are 12 spaces available at $125 for the workshop. The workshop is subject to rescheduling due to inclement weather.
Wondering about fire safety? All pits will be equipped with a 5 gallon bucket of water, a shovel, metal mesh screen for embers and sheet metal to completely cover the pit for safety. There will also be 6 fire extinguishers on site in designated areas. We take 'leave no trace' seriously and will dispose of all ash safely and refill all fire pits at the end of the workshop. No plant material will be harmed in digging pits. We have chosen October because this coincides with the least amount of wind, on average, in Joshua Tree.
*After signing up, you will receive an automated email response as if you've signed up for a tour of A-Z West. We know you didn't, so please ignore this email! We will be in touch with you soon after you sign up with additional details. If you have any questions, please contact Stray Ceramics at email@example.com.