Alternative firings are atmosphere centric and the surface of the pottery is dramatically impacted by wood ash, soda, salt and content of carbon dioxide/ oxygen, giving each piece a distinct look.
'Raku' in japanese means ease and enjoyment and is an ancient glaze firing technique. It originated as a part of the tea ceremony ritual where each individual bowl was made and valued for its philosophical and spiritual significance. Unlike an ordinary glaze firing which is very elaborate, painstaking, long and well planned, raku firing is very quick, exciting and spontaneous. The whole process is accomplished in just a few hours.
Pit firing is the original method for "baking” clay and dates back nearly 30,000 years . The process is typically done in a hole in the ground, or a pit. Dry pots are placed in the pit which is filled with combustible organic matter like cow dung, sew weeds, dry leaves etc.and burnt. Colors and patterns on the pots are derived from the atmospheric process in the fire and how it affects the clay body.
Sagar firing is a contemporary offshoot of pit firing which is effectively done for a fewer pottery pieces.
'Soda' (washing soda, sodium bi carbonate) is introduced into the kiln near top temperature (1280°C,∆8). The soda vapours are carried throughout the kiln creating interesting glazed effects on the pot's surface. The results are erratic yet predictable and always surprising.