Workshop: Pit Firing

When: 25 & 26 August, 22 & 23 September

Where: MAMA House Studio & Table Top Pots Studio

Price: $165 ($150 moMAMA / Concession)

Create a batch of pit fired ceramics over two weekends of workshops, with artist Kerrie Docker.

Pit firing is the original method for baking clay pottery, with examples dating back 30,000 years. Pottery is formed from clay and then put deep in a fire pit in the ground. This method makes use of the absorbent surface of the bare clay, with the movement of the fire, the burning of elements in the fire and those being released from the clay creating a unique finish to each piece. Open pores in the clay receive and retain colour and patterning from the fire, with different combustible materials and clay varieties adding extra dimensions to the finish.

This workshop will be delivered over 4 dates, between two locations in and close to Albury.

Saturday 25 August, 1.00pm - 5.00pm
MAMA's House Studio 
Prepare your raw pottery pieces, using either wheel throwing or hand building techniques.

Sunday 26 August, 1.00pm - 4.00pm
MAMA's House Studio 
Finish your pottery pieces by turning, burnishing and colouring them so they are ready for bisque firing.
Kerrie will perform the bisque firing stage in between the weekends.

Saturday 22 September, 2.00pm - 6.00pm
Table Top Pots Studio
Prepare the pit for firing at Table Top Pots Studio. Students will bring items to contribute to the burning to add colour to the pit (such as dried banana and veggie skins, seaweed, nut shells, horse hair, coffee grounds, etc). Combustible materials will be added to the pit with sawdust and pots and will then be lit. Participants will help add to and manage the fire and learn to understand the process unfolding in the pit.

Saturday 23 September, 10.00am - 11.00am
Table Top Pots Studio
Unearth the pots from the pit and enjoy the reveal of the different finishes and effects achieved in the firing. Students will be able to discuss the results with Kerrie and gain a stronger understanding of the variables that resulted in each individual piece.

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Meet the Tutor: Kerrie Docker

Portrait of artist Kerrie Docker

Kerrie fell in love with ceramics at Secondary School and followed her passion into an Arts degree majoring in Ceramics at Bendigo College of Advanced Education in the late 1980's.

While inspired by many great international potters, including the English Masters, Kerrie's main influences have been people that she has worked with personally in the local area.

She has been producing Tableware, Exhibition pieces and Commissions since 1990 and continues to grow and refine her technique with each new project. She is particularly drawn to wheel thrown work and enjoys creating functional items that have great line, lift and balance. Kerrie has also delved into sculptural work, murals and tiling.

Kerrie's studio is a century old shearing shed on her family's farm. It is here that she disappears into her creative world and emerges with unique pieces that are in her distinct style.