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TAB-Firing

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. 

1

Watch Maria and her son Popovi staging the pots for a firing.


2

Popovi adds the firewood.

3

Watch Popovi add cow patties and tin around the pots.

4

Watch the lighting and tending of the fire.

5

Finished!  Was this firing successful?


The Science of Fire