The Technical Side of Pit-firing with Mary Kaun-English

High specification manufactured kilns are not the only way to fire pottery…

Cornwall based potter Mary Kaun-English specialises in pit-firing; an ancient method of firing ceramic work. Mary’s firing practice occurs predominately in the sand on Cornish beaches. This process involves digging a large hole, placing her bisque fired ceramics in the pit and creating a huge fire on top where pots are fired for several hours with temperatures reaching 800 degrees farenheit in the hottest part of the pit. Ever conscious of keeping her work sustainable, Mary uses locally dug, heavily grogged clay which helps to avoid excessive breakages. No glazes are used in this process as the required temperature is not reached.