8.5cm top diameter x 10.5cm deep
This pretty small pot has a wonderful variety of colours and patterns all created by additions to the pot before firing in a pit. There is no glaze and the surface is coated with a thin layer of wax polish to protect the surface and bring out the colours. A beautiful display piece which always seems to have new patterns to discover.
Pit firing is a high risk ancient technique where a previously bisque fired pot is placed in a pit or barrel with various natural additions like banana peel, moss, salt and copper wire, and a bonfire is then lit on top of the pots, left to burn and then covered when the flames have died down. The pots are removed when cool and cleaned up to reveal (hopefully!) many different colours and markings ingrained on the surface. The breakage rate is high and there is no way of knowing what will emerge from the fire. This is the joy of pit firing and every pot is unique - it would be impossible to replicate any marking or colour.
These pots are not regarded as food safe, however the wax coating which is natural and foodsafe will give a resistance to water and other liquids. It can in some instances be waterproof but this is not guaranteed and will need testing before use as for instance a vase. Gentle handwashing only is recommended when necessary.
Wheel thrown pit -fired vessel
Pit fired pottery is not deemed to be food safe and is not waterproof, as the clay does not get hot enough in the pit firing to vitrify, remaining porous. There is a coating of food safe natural wax (Osmo hard liquid wax) on the surface which affords some protection and water resistance, and bowls can be used for some dry food and nuts etc. Sometimes it can prove to be waterproof but this is not guaranteed and use as a vase or other water containing vessel is not recommended unless thoroughly tested first. The wax may need reapplying from time to time, especially if the pot is being used and washed. Gentle handwashing is advised however if the pot is coated in terrasigillata, as this one is, a gentle wipe with a soft cloth or a little wax polish is recommended instead as the surface is easily scratched or damaged. Not dishwasher safe!