Pit Firing

This page shows details of pit firings undertaken by the Upwey Potters,

mainly Bill Crumbleholme.

Bill's own website has a couple of pages devoted to the pit firings he has done in 2018 at West Bexington in West Dorset. Here are the links :-



Another pit firing there is being prepared.

The images below are of a mini-pit firing in a dustbin that Bill did in April 2020

Bottom layer of pots and eggs covered with sawdust. They had been laid on a bed of sawdust, sprinkled with sodium bicarbonate and with banana skins!

Next layer of eggs, sprinkled with yellow and black iron oxides and copper carbonate.

Next layer, same treatment. Sawdust is carefully placed around the pieces to minimise disturbing the oxides.

Then the dust is built up into a layer about 4 inches thick between the ceramic layers.

A small twig fire was built on top of the sawdust - lit by a gas torch!

The dustbin lid was placed loosely over the bin, to allow air to get in to feed the fire gently.

Two tubes were inserted to encourage an air supply down into the middle and base of the dustbin, to promote burning, as things seemed a bit slow!

The fire went out overnight, having only burnt the top few inches. So more sawdust was added and another twig fire started and left for the second night.

That fire also went out, but after burning down through two layers of pottery, so they were removed.

Second layer of burnt eggs.

More sawdust and twigs were added and the fire was relit again for the third night!

These following images are of the pieces from the top two layers after they had been brushed clean and washed in water.

The story continues - awaiting the next visit to see if the fire burnt all the way down or not!