Black Reduced Ceramics
Ceramic works are made only by hand, without using pottery lathe . Tableware is made in sticking or slab techniques and fired in traditional wood-fired kiln.
Sticking is one of the oldest techniques – tableware is made from the flatten clay strips, sticking one above the other and blending together with fingers.
Slab technique - clay is rolled by the dough roll or special slab roller, the desirable form is cutted out. This technique is used when making dishes.
The kiln is fired when 100-200 pottery pieces are prepared. Kiln firing takes place once in a two months or twice in a three months period.When the clay tableware is starting to dry, it’s polished with a smooth stone
to be shiny and pleasant to use. When the dishes are completely dry, they are placed in to the traditional wood-fired kiln in a free stack one above the other. The process of loading in the kiln may take several hours. When the kiln is loaded, the pine wood is fired outside the kiln entrance and slow warming process takes around 6 hours to dry the remaining wet from the dishes.
After that the pine wood is placed directly into the kiln entrance and kiln is still firing about 6 hours to achieve the temperature 1100°C, almost reaching clay dew point. So, all wood- kiln firing process takes about 12 hours. When the dishes are burned out, the fire is smothered and the reduction process is going on - after 12 hours of kiln firing process the kiln top and entrance is sealing with metal lid, bricks and clay/sand mixture. This process can take 3 hours.
The wood-fired kiln is loaded with the firewood for the last time and the kiln entrance is built in bricks. In such way the oxygen cannot access to the firing anymore and the loaded firewood takes the oxygen from the dishes in to the kiln. When oxygen has burned out, clay deoxidizes and now changes its color. As a result of reduction the chemical composition of the clay is changed and the dishes become black.
First step is to take out the leftover coals from the kiln entrance because as soon as the kiln is opening the coals start burning again as finally oxygen enters the kiln. Then open the kiln top and slowly start taking out dishes one by one.
The hot dishes are taken out slowly, waxing with the heated mixture of vegetable oil, beeswax and propolis to become waterproof and suitable for daily use.After the waxing all pieces are washed.
Tablewear can be used in the oven (placed in a cold, not warmed up), in a dishwasher, but not in the open fire.
When the fire is smothered, the top of the kiln is covered and tightly closed.
After 12 hours the opening of the wood-fired kiln takes place – the top cover, builted bricks and coal are removed and the kiln must cool down.The result is never predictable as the process is formed by the fire and the power of nature.