Saggar Firing Process
My process for Saggar Pottery is a rather long intense process of using organic matter to impress itself and color on the outside of pottery. If done correctly the clay body will absorb the color from the chemical reaction of the burning organics. After I prepare a piece of pottery in the traditional since, I mix up a recipe of terra sigallate (a 24 hour process in its own right) Then brush the terra sigallate onto each piece. As the greenware state, is the most fragile state of any piece of pottery, I VERY carefully burnished the piece using a soft leather cloth. The application of terra sigallate and the burnishing step is repeated three times over the course of several hours. The end results are amazing considering this is an un-fired piece of greenware.
These pieces are then fired in the kiln at a slow rate to 1867F. The pottery is then wrapped in organic material such as apricots, bananas, coffee beans, pumpkin seeds, peach pits, iron oxides, steel wool, copper wire, avocado, and various dried greens. If I'm firing in a gas kiln I will add salts, sea weed, kelp and other materials.
After pots are removed from the kiln and allowed to cool; I remove the lose burnt organics and then wash and allow them to dry thoroughly. Then I begin the process of burnishing the pottery three more times but this time using beeswax and a leather cloth. The end results are stunning.
Next Time in 'My Process' I'll talk all about the process for making the unmistakably identifiable (and a little dangerous :) Horsehair and Feather Pottery. I hope you'll sign up for updates. The characteristics, method, and the ceremonial uses of this form of pottery is undeniably intriguing! Most of these pieces are ordered by owners of these magnificent horses; whether they be race horses, polo horses, wild horses, mustangs, miniature, Shetlands, rodeo or the regular ol' cowboy/girl working horse. The element of danger I find both scary and exhilarating!