Recharged by the opportunity to take time out for our own exploration of the pit-firing experience in a magical Toodyay bush setting, simple vessels were transformed into objects of beauty through the alchemy of fire. The pit was packed with straw, copper carbonate, red iron oxide, rock salt, banana skins. The ceramic ware was lovingly sprayed with red iron oxide, wound in copper wire and salted twine and carefully placed amongst the layers.
The crisp Toodyay evening was enjoyed watching the flames dance around the work as the potters drank wine and watched with excitement as the pots took on their own earthy colours. Morning came to reveal the hidden treasures amongst the embers, as we delighted in the great variety of marks which imbued each piece with its own unique character. It was a good suggestion to bisque fire the pieces before pit firing.
A fantastic weekend at the Baker’s Toodyay retreat complete with great company, food and wine was enjoyed by all. As an enthusiastic participant I would urge you to take up the next ArtEd professional development opportunity and enjoy the experience!
text by Yvonne Weisse and Gen Baker.