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color in pit firing

updated thu 24 may 07


Eduardo Lazo on wed 23 may 07

Color in Pit Firing=20
I would like to add to Stephanie Stephenson=E2=80=99s comments on the topic.=
In my experience, there are several keys to getting vibrant colors in a pit=20
firing. =20
1. The type of clay body influences your color palette to a great=20
degree. A clay that has a little iron in it (as Soldate 60 from Laguna) enc=
the salmon, yellow and orange blushes that come from the fuming sodium=20
chloride (table salt). White clays lack this ability but do give rich reds=20=
blacks. Clays with heavy iron content will obscure many colors. =20
2. I encourage a low bisque at Orton cone 018 to prevent breakage abut=20
also you get more colors at a lower temperature bisque. =20
3. You need both pockets of oxidation and reduction for a full range of=
colors. I like to use cow pies because of the even firing and more so becau=
the ash settles on the surface of the pieces creating reduction pockets that=
give the copper red flashes. =20
Color Palette Chart =20
Combustibles and Chemicals =20
Expected coloration on cone 018-014 bisque =20
Hardwood sawdust =20
Black, dark gray =20
Hardwood coals =20
Black, smoky gray, blue-grays =20
Cow pies from grass fed cows =20
Gun metal black, jet black, golden yellows =20
Cow pies from grain fed cows =20
Dark greens, grays, blacks, browns =20
Driftwood =20
Blue-grays, aqua shades, gray-blacks =20
Seaweed roots =20
Browns, rust, honey =20
Kelp leaves =20
Yellow, orange, peach =20
Kelp pods =20
Orange, brown =20
Saline grown leaves, twigs, grass =20
Golden yellows, greens =20
Table salt =20
Orange, yellows =20
Sea salt =20
Salmon, orange, yellow, gold, peach =20
Copper carbonate =20
Green, black, maroon, reds =20
Cobalt carbonate =20
Blues =20
Ferric chloride =20
Iron reds, yellows, oranges=20
1. For detailed Pit Fire Instructions see=20
_ (
tinstruct.html) =20
Eduardo Lazo=20
Belmont, California USA

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