Pit firingis the original method for “baking” clay. It dates back nearly 30,000 years . The process 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 n how it effects the clay body.
Unfired pots are nestled together in a pit in the ground and are then covered with combustible materials such as wood shavings, leaves, metal oxides, salts, sawdust and dried manure. The top of the pit may be protected with moist clay, shards, larger pieces of wood or metal baffles. The filled pit is then set on fire and carefully tended until most of the inner fuel has been consumed. At around 1,100°C (2,000°F) the maximum temperatures are moderate compared to other techniques used for pottery.After cooling, pots are removed and cleaned to reveal patterns and colours left by ash and salt deposits. Pots may then be waxed and buffed to create a smooth glossy finish.
Sagar firing is a contemporary offshoot of pit firing which can be easily done for a fewer pottery pieces.