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pit firing additives

updated sat 20 jul 02


Jim V Brooks on thu 18 jul 02

Jeff, when we spread copper carb and salt around the pots in a pitfire, we
get all sort of wonderful colors in the flames.!. I would bet that if you
roasted your marshmallow on that fire it would come out safe?
not likely!!!........ We do agree... Jim in Denton

Jeff Tsai on thu 18 jul 02

If you want to produce more color from your ware, using copper carbonate in
the water you use to brunish is a good idea. I would paint on a good layer
of the copper carbonate first, and then burnish.

Another way to do this is simply burnish normally, then bisque, and then
paint on or soak the pieces in a copper carbonate solution (not too long,
the clay will absorb the solution very quickly.)

Lastly, since this is a bonfire with other people and I doubt you want to
spend the time setting your pieces into the wood, sprinking copper and salt
around your pieces, etc, while your friends wait upon you wanting to light
the bonfire, try preparing your pieces ahead of time inside grocery bags.
Dump a little sawdust in the bag, put in the piece, sprinkle copper and salt
lightly around the piece or pieces in the bag, tape the lid of the bag shut,
and just put the bags into the bonfire pit before you start layering the

One last note. If you use copper carbonate or salt at all in your bonfiring,
don't roast anything over the flames. I may be over-cautious in saying this,
but I use other more dangerous materials than copper carb in my pits and so
I just play it safe and don't let people near my pits, let alone cook a
marshmellow over one.