Pottery Pit Firing & Camping

The somewhat unorthodox method used to achieve the artist’s unique & unrepeatable surface finishes is called pit fired pottery. This is an ancient & unconventional process that uses natural, organic waste materials to make marks on the surface of the clay instead of chemical glazes.

Pit Fired Pots

Pit fired ceramics are the result of mixing the earthly elements of earth, water, air & fire (& perhaps a little ether?), with just the right combination, for just the right length of time, in just the right quantities, in order to attain something transcendent from something as base as dirt & organic waste; it is pure alchemy.

The artists will utilise eucalyptus leaves, gum bark, flowers & foliage, seaweed & sea grasses, eggshell & cuttlefish, nut husks & shells and even scat, to name a few ingredients.

These earthly elements are put together with our ceramics, & fired at temperatures reaching near 1000°C. This uncontrolled combustion & containment transforms these ingredients from solid to gas, releasing the naturally occurring minerals & organic compounds found within. These opportunistic vapours instead permeate the surface of the clay, creating an unpredictable & unrepeatable transference of colour, pattern & texture, which permanently fuses with the clay body, resulting in a completely spontaneous & natural surface decoration without the need for any chemical glazes whatsoever.

As you can imagine, firing this way means that each & every work of art produced by the artist is as unique & individual as the person who owns it. No two pieces are alike.

Pit Firing Pit Fired Pots
Pit Fired PotsPit Fired Pots

The Art of Living committee cordially invites you to participate in a PIT FIRED POTTERY event that will coincide with the Community Bonfire evening on Saturday 16th September 2017. Camping is also available if you choose to stay the evening and enjoy the festivities, with local Bed and Breakfast options also available if you prefer. The Art of Living Festival will also be hosting music and light show entertainment on Saturday night to coincide with the firing, with Sunday our Festival Market day! So it truly is a family friendly event! All participants will be allocated fire duty, and security details to ensure that this is a fun and safe event.



Camping & Pit Firing:
$55 (includes firing for 3 pieces, $5 per additional piece)


Pit Firing Only: $15 per piece


Camping Only: $25 per tent (for non-participating artists)

Please bring your pieces of pottery to the Back Oval in Bundeena on Saturday 16th September 2017 before 10:00am. Your pieces should be a maximum of 20cm x 20cm. Please insure they are made of clay that is suitable for raku (heavily grogged) and have already been bisque fired.

We are encouraging artists to try using natural colorants or trial raw firing, as we are focusing on the ancient forms of the art. The bonfire is a community event & we expect people in close proximity to the fire, so please limit the use of caustic substances or chemicals that can cause respiratory irritation. Straw, sawdust and wood will be provided for the firing. If you would like additional materials, please bring them along on the day.

Artists are required to assist with the firing, and we will assign 1-2-hour shifts. Camping on site is available, alternatively there are many fine bed & breakfasts available in Bundeena & Maianbar.


  • leaves
  • bark
  • flowers
  • foliage
  • grass
  • seaweed
  • sea grass
  • eggshell
  • cuttlefish
  • nut husks
  • pumice stone
  • dirt
  • salt
  • baking soda
  • bones
  • scat
  • banana peels
  • paper
  • wire
  • shells

The pottery will be exhibited on Sunday as part of the Art of Living Art Show. You are welcome to price them for sale or mark them not for sale (30% commision applies for all sales). Collection of your pieces will be after 4:00pm Sunday 28 August from the Community Centre.




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