First the aluminum foil and any remaining material, like burnt copper scrubby pads, was peeled away, then the pots were washed.
click on any photo to enlarge
Afterward washing, a protective coating is applied to the finished pot. I used liquid floor wax, but paste furniture or car wax can be used as well. Here are my results:
The black iron oxide details I painted on this pot didn't take, and washed off during the cleaning process. All I got was some gray smoke patterns. Simple, plain, attractive perhaps, but not what I was hoping for.
Two sides of the same pot:
First, I incised the stylized grass pattern in the leather-hard clay before bisque firing. After it was fired, I painted red iron oxide in the grooves. The black lines come from a length of baling twine that I soaked in a salt brine solution. When dried, the twine was wrapped around the pot.
Next, I encased the twine-wrapped pot in a copper scrubbing pad. You can see the effect in the pattern of dark dots scattered over the surface. Finally, I wrapped the whole thing in a dry rag that had been soaked in a concentrated solution of Miracle Grow.
Red iron oxides were used for the spiral on this shallow vessel. I tried to follow the spiral pattern I made in the wet clay when I threw this piece.
An "altered art" piece. When throwing it, I goofed up, and what was intended to be a mug became a flop instead. (Sorry, Kyle. Still working on your coffee mug!)
So, I decided to experiment. This pot was filled with dried horse manure and then wrapped in brine-soaked baling twine. (Did I mention that none of the pit fire pieces are food safe?)
Again, showing two sides of the same piece. The uneven nature of the pit fire often leads this sort of schizophrenia.
This pot was also encased in a copper scrub pad, then a Miracle Grow rag.
The pattern made by the copper links is particularly evident here.
So, there you have it. The unusual and unpredictable conclusion of this year's pit firing. Each year, we learn more about what to expect (In fact, I have a few ideas for next year already) but as I am quickly discovering, this process continues to surprise us.