Thursday, 13 December 2012

Firing with banana skins

A few weeks ago I was reading about Deidre Hawthorne and how she fires some of her pots in saggars using banana skins. As I already use saggars, I was intrigued to try it for myself.

This sake cup was fired to 1300 degrees centigrade in a small saggar with a little wood and the dried skins of two bananas. The result was a rather uniform light grey colour with a metallic sheen..not terribly interesting. On Monday, I refired it in my mini wood kiln to earthenware temperature and this has re-oxidised the surface inside and out, bringing the colours to life. Now the unglazed clay body has turned a deep reddish brown in places, which was more like the colours which Deirdre Hawthorne had said she was achieving with banana skins. The inside is coated with a shino glaze which has turned a beautiful orange colour...dry near the rim but with more of a satin sheen at the bottom.


  1. I've used banana skins in my barrel firings but I always add RIO and copper carbonate and fertilizer so I never know which ingredient creates the colors.

  2. Yes, it's so often the case with ceramics, not knowing which ingredient caused what effect. I guess the wood may have contributed to the colour on this piece, but since I've not achieved that shade of red-brown before, I reckon it must have been the bananas!