Making Pottery – Step 5 – Firing
Once the pots are formed, air dried, polished and a design added, come the most critical step of firing.
Several pieces of pottery are fired at the same time. Wood and brush are piled to make a bonfire. The pieces to be fired are laid on a metal sheet or on a layer of pottery sherds on top of the fuel. Additional sherds are layered around the sides and tops of the vessels. The whole mound is then covered with cow and/or sheep dung and the fire is started.
Temperatures in the bonfire may reach as high as 1300 degrees Fahrenheit. At the appropriate time – determined individually by each potter – the fire is extinguished. The pots are allowed to cool and then removed for final polishing.
Check out the videos below. The entire firing process is shown in these 5 videos.
Watch Maria and her son Popovi staging the pots for a firing.
Popovi adds the firewood.
Watch Popovi add cow patties and tin around the pots.
Watch the lighting and tending of the fire.
Finished! Was this firing successful?
The Science of Fire