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Saggar-fired Blackware

Unpacking fired saggars

A saggar is a type of kiln furniture. It is a ceramic, boxlike container used in the firing of pottery to enclose or protect ware being fired inside a kiln. Saggars have been used to protect, or safeguard, ware from open flame, smoke, gases and kiln debris.

In recent times, studio potters have used saggars to create decorative ceramic pieces. In this use saggars are used to create a localized reducing atmosphere or concentrate the effects of salts, metal oxides and other materials on the surface of their ware.

Liking the look of low fired blackware, but not the often impermanent nature of the color of the infused carbon and the porous nature of the low fired pots, I have used saggars in high fired pottery (about 2300 degrees F) to imbed the carbon permanently into the vitrified clay. The colors of black, and grays with white accents are no longer subject to fading with exposure to light as are some raku and pit fired pots .

Prepared pots are nestled into saggars filled with beds of combustible materials, such as sawdust. These materials ignite or fume during firing, leaving the pot buried in layers of ash and fine charcoal. Ware produced in filled saggars may display distinctive black and white markings. Porcelain and stoneware are ideal for displaying the surface patterns obtained through saggar firing.

The pots from a recent saggar firing will be shown at the studio during the Maine Pottery Tour, May 5 and 6.

Porcelain Pinch Pots

Porcelain Pinch PotsOccasionally I take a little time to work with porcelain, a more difficult clay to use than my usual stoneware clay. These have a celadon glaze, others are white or are shades of black and gray due to a special  saggar firing. Look for a later post on saggar firing.

These are essentially small one of a kinds. There is a group of them at the Maine Potters Market right more and there will be a few new ones in my next firing (in a few weeks).

Maine Pottery Tour April 30 – May 1, 2016

Spoons - Barbara Walch PotteryWe’ll be on the Maine Pottery Tour again this year. We are offering a free Barbara Walch signature spoon to everyone who makes their way out to the studio in Thorndike this year.

Open Studio Hours:

Saturday  April 30, 10am – 5pm

Sunday May 1, 11am – 4pm

You will find us at 33 Knox Station Rd
Thorndike, Maine. See location information here.

• You can also find updates from Barbara Walch Pottery on Facebook – BarbaraWalchPottery . Here is a sneak preview.

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