Modern Methods Meet Ancient Ways
One way of firing ceramics is to wrap your pot/s * in an aluminum foil saggar, and to fill in around the pot with alternating layers of salt, sawdust, chemicals, organic matter and oxides. Some areas show oxidation (exposure to oxygen), a condition which allows the reaction of chemicals to the heat and flames to be highly visible, while other areas show evidence of reduction, (a deprevation of oxygen) and results in the dark, blackened areas. For this batch, I used copper wire, iron oxide, cobalt carbonate, plant fertilizer and animal hair. After the pots cooled down, I burnished them with a river stone. It is great fun, can be considered a survival skill, can produce some stunning results, and lends a greater appreciation of the efforts of our long ago ancestors!
*Prior to the saggar firing, many modern potters will bisque their pots in an electric kiln in order to achieve a better longevity for the finished product. Despite the bisque firing, pots finished in this fashion are not considered food safe by todays standard.
Here is the finished product! Polished and ready to go!