Pit Firing Workshop

Pit Firing Workshop: Upcoming dates to be announced Fee $175.00

Pit Firing is an elemental and exciting process that results in beautiful and dramatic flashes of colour and smokiness on the surface of the pot.

This workshop is ideal for people interested in art or ceramics and also for artists wanting to expand and build on their skills.

***If you are planning to enrol in this workshop please continue reading to learn how you need to prepare your pots for this workshop***

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The workshop will be conducted over two days, is for all skill levels and will introduce students to all aspects of pit firing. Attendees are encouraged to bring a notebook and camera to document their learning.

As September can be a bit chilly in Ballarat hot vegetable soup will be on the simmer to graze on from handmade bowls during the day.

If you are not from the local area, accommodation  is available close to the workshop site.

What to Bring: Participants should bring 1-2 pots no larger than 30x30cm that have been burnished and bisque fired to between 780-820°. A low bisque will ensure the sheen is maintained on the pot after pit firing. Wide rimmed bowls and plates should be avoided. Enclosed forms, sculptural forms and narrow rims are best due to the uneven flame and heat characteristic of a pit firing.

What to wear: Old clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. Avoid synthetic and loose materials. Enclosed shoes are a must. Ideally hair should be tied back.

What you will learn: This is a hands on workshop and during the course of the day students will learn all technical aspects of pit firing such as clay types, surface colouration guide, what to add to the pit to achieve what effect, pot preparation, plus loads more… and all while having fun!

If you need lessons and/or clay to make pots for the firing casual participation in a weekly class is welcome at the special discounted rate of $25.00 per session


If there is enough demand a separate class can be scheduled specifically to make works for the pit firing.

**Remember if you would like to give this as a gift you can purchase a Gift Certificate **

Workshop Schedule

Day 1 – 12noon – 5pm -Bring notebooks and camera.

12.00 – 1.00— Pots are prepared with seaweed, fern fronds, gum leaves, salted string, copper wire and other organic materials.

1.00 – 2.00— The pit is prepared with wood, seaweed, cow dung, pinecones and other materials. Pots are loaded in the pit.

2.00 – 5.00pm — Firing commences. Pit is stoked for a few hours and finally covered for a slow overnight simmer.

Day 2 – 2-5pm – Bring notebooks and camera.

2-3pm— Pit is unloaded with lots of oohing and aahing and photo taking

3-5pm— Pots and cleaned and polished with even more oohing and aahing and photo taking

Signed Copies of Dawn’s book Pit Firing Ceramics: Modern Methods Ancient Techniques will be available to purchase on the day.

Images of Dawn’s pit firing can be seen on her FACEBOOK page or on her INSTAGRAM page.