Outdoor Pottery Firing 101

Outdoor Pottery Firing 101

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Who needs a kiln? All you need to fire pottery is a well built outdoor fire.

This course will teach the ancient art of the outdoor, above-ground pottery firing as it has been practiced in the American Southwest for centuries. This course explains the science behind a pottery fire, give tips on selecting the best wood and fire safety, then leads you through several complete outdoor pottery firings. All video based learning so you can come along with me as I fire pottery in the way practiced by the ancient Mogollon while I explain what is being done and why it is being done. This is a one of a kind learning experience that is backed by a satisfaction guarantee.

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If within 14 days of purchase you don’t think this course is worth the money, just tell us and we will refund the full price, no questions asked, no problem!

outdoor pottery firing

Master new pottery skills with each lesson

Our lessons are set up in informative and easily understood segments which will allow you to master new techniques quickly.

Costs a fraction of an in-person pottery class or workshop

Most in-person classes cost hundreds of dollars but our video classes are just as educational and much more affordable.

Learn at a time and place convenient to you

Learn from home, while traveling, or anywhere else you have an internet connection and at any time of the day or night.

Watch videos of difficult techniques over again until you get it right

No more trying to remember what the instructor said or how they did a technique. Watch the video lessons over and over.

Personalized emails from the instructor will encourage you

You will receive encouraging emails from your instructor all through the class. Reply to these emails to get feedback and answers.

Learn the ancient art of pottery with convenient video lessons

If there is a better way to learn ancient pottery making techniques, we don’t know it. Learn from home in your underwear, does it get any easier than that?

Course Objectives

In this course you will learn the process of firing pottery in an open, oxidizing, surface fire. This type of firing is suitable for producing most Southwest red ware or brown ware pottery such as that made by the prehistoric Hohokam and Mogollon cultures. Some Anasazi pottery could be fired this way, for example San Juan Red Wares but most Anasazi and Mogollon white wares were probably fired in a trench kiln or some other method to reduce the availability of oxygen. This course will not cover limited-oxidation firing procedures required to produce white wares.

  • Learn the safety considerations for any outdoor fire.
  • Become familiar with the equipment required.
  • Identify the correct weather conditions for firing pottery.
  • Learn what types of wood are best and what types should be avoided.
  • Familiarize yourself with the basics of fire science.
  • Learn the process for firing pottery and how it relates to fire science.
  • Become familiar with common firing mistakes, what causes breakage and how to avoid it.

After finishing this class you will have a good understanding of the principles of outdoor pottery firing and be able to successfully and safely fire pottery yourself in an outdoor setting.

I've been making primitive pottery since I was a teenager in the 80's. My work focuses on reproducing the polychrome pottery styles made in the American Southwest during thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. I have taught workshops and lectured at venues all over the Southwest. When I was learning to make pottery it was very hard to find the information I needed, so I created this website to make the technology of southwest pottery readily available to all.