Pit-fired and Raku Ceramics by New York artist Gloria Rabinowitz
Pit-Fired pottery is the oldest known method to fire pottery. Pots are unglazed and put into a pit that contains combustible materials (wood shavings, leaves, metal oxides, salts, sawdust, etc.). The pit is then set on fire and watched carefully until most of the combustibles have burned. After cooling, the pots are removed and cleaned. Patterns and colors are left by ash, salt deposits and the way the pot is positioned next to other pots.
Raku pottery is fired at a relatively low temperature and then moved while hot to a closed container (such as an aluminum garbage can) with combustible materials (as paper or sawdust) that ignite and cause a reaction creating colors and patterns in the pottery’s surface. The pottery is then taken out of the container and immersed in water.