Thanks for checking out my photos of my Pinch Pots. My pots range from tiny goblets to 16 – 18 inch pots. Some are high fired stoneware or porcelain, fired in an electric kiln, although I am beginning to explore glazing and firing my pinch pots in a gas kiln as well, for a greater range of color. Click here to see my high-fired pinch pot photos.
My other gallery of work is Sawdust-fired pinch pots. These are created, dried and bisque fired in the electric kiln as my other work is, but then I don’t glaze them. instead I put them in a rectangle of bricks (or a metal trash can with holes punched into it) lay down a layer of sawdust, place my pieces, cover and fill them with more sawdust (I repeat the layers if I have enough work) then crumple newspaper on top and light it. I let the newspaper catch the top f the sawdust, then close the lid (tightly enough to produce smoke, but not so tightly that it put’ out the fire, and not so loose that we get too much flame.) Then let it burn for 12, to 24 to 48 hours. The smoke actually penetrates into the clay and leaves an organic pattern, or blacks & whites or blacks and tan that is unique and different every time. Some of my sawdust fired work is left rough, some is “stone-polished” or smoothed with a stone during the making process, some has terra sigilata (a slip of fine clay particles and water) applied before bisque firing. The latter two techniques result in a lusciously smooth surface that you just can’t stop touching. My favorite work to do in sawdust is porcelain. It takes both the stone polishing and the smoke beautifully and gives a range of black gray and white that can be very striking. Click here to see photos of my sawdust-fired pinch pots.
Cathy Larkin, Pinch Pot Artist