It’s pretty easy in many areas of the UK to find a decent bit of clay to slop in a bucket and take home to process. If you’re very lucky, you can dig and shape the clay straight away.

Dry your pot before firing

Dry your pot before firing

All you need to do now is dry and fire your pot.

Making Primitive Kilns

This is a simple guide from which to start experimenting.

1. Warm the clay slowly to minimise thermal shock and breakage. Keep turning pots to maintain an even temperature.

Start of the firing process

Start of the firing process

2. Split ash logs to necessary size.

3. As clay warms, move pots to centre of fire on top of split ash logs. Begin with bottom layer of split ash for kiln wall.

Building the kiln 1

4. Spread embers around the outside of the kiln and add next level of split ash wall. Keep turning pots.

Building the kiln 2

5. Keep feeding embers with small shavings to maintain heat and add next level of split ash.

Building the kiln 3

6. Place smaller ash sticks as a roof over the pots.

Building the kiln 4

7. Build a pyramid around the kiln walls to create the oven

Building the kiln 5

8. Keep feeding the fire until pots glow bright red

Building the kiln 6

About 1000 degrees Celsius (you can just see the pot glowing red)

Leave to “cook” for about four hours or so and cool pot slowly. If you’re lucky and the fire gods are on your side it won’t go pop (or later bam). Sounds you do not want to hear when firing primitive pottery.

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