Pitfired Pottery

Gallery Pit - Fired Pottery

Michael Berkley Pit fire image

Michael Berkley Pit fire image

Pit Firing has been used as a method of finishing ceramic pieces for thousands of years.

Each firing is unique and lends itself to different results.

The Artist has control in the early stages of making his wares. When the piece reaches the final stage in this type firing, one can only direct, through experience, a suggested path for the flame and color to proceed on. This is called Flame Painting.

This medium offers spontaneous surface decoration and is particularly suited to the task of learning how to let go.

The pieces are burnished with polished rocks in the leatherhard and bone dry state to achieve a smooth surface or Terra Sigillata is applied to the surface - the same method used by early pit fire artisans of the past.

Sea salt, copper, cow dung, a variety of woods, and other fuels are used to achieve a wide spectrum of colors during the firing.

Michael's pottery is available for purchase from this website or at shows. MIchael also teaches at the Civic Art Center in Walnut Creek, CA

Dream Urns


Dream Urn - Circa 4700 - 5000 BCE.

Michael Berkley Pit fire image Ancient SumerUnearthed from archeological digs in and around ancient Sumer and Akkad,
these articles were discovered in the sleeping quarters of many family dwellings.

Dream Urns were thought to be a gift from Zaqat, the god of dreams, and one of the Sky People.

According to legends inscribed on clay tablets from the same era,
believers were instructed to put aromatic flower petals inside the Urns before
going to sleep while concentrating on a particular Desire or question.

A precursor to the Hopi dream-catchers, these urns would then hold the
persons dreams and transmit messages from the gods which could be used as
aids in the dreamerís daily life.

The imperfections often found on these newly discovered Dream Urns,
were thought to be a mark of their residence in the world of mortals rather than the gods.

Reproduced by Michael Berkley Pottery
© 1999-2009


Michael Berkley Pit fire image - Dream Urn-StormyNight

Pit Fire Image - Dream Urn StormyNightPit fire image - Dream Urn StoryNight - Michael Berkley

Above: Dream Urn - Stormy Night Thoughts 18x13: Carrot Orange Terra Sigillata with White Terra Overlay.
Copper, dung, salt. Cherry, walnut, oak and madrone wood with Berkley's specialty mix sawdust.
$650.00 - SOLD

 

Michael Berkley Pit fire image          Michael Berkley Pit fire image dream urn


Michael Berkley Pit fire image          Michael Berkley Pit fire image

Celebration Urn and Galaxy Series


Celebration Urn and Galaxy Series - Circa 4000 -2700 BCE
.

`Michael Berkley Pit fire imageUnearthed from archeological digs in and around ancient Sumer and Akkad,
these articles were discovered in certain family dwellings. These Urns
were often given as gifts to mark a specific period in oneís Life. Although
the Celebration Urns were a symbol of wealth and good fortune, this wealth
was measured by the number of Friends, Family and Health in Oneís Life.

According to legends inscribed on clay tablets from the same era, the colors
associated with the Celebration Urns or Galaxy Urns as they were also called,
were symbolic of the newly discovered Planets
revealed to them by the Gods. In those days, colors had sound, could heal,
uplift and soothe a person in time of need.

Today we call it color therapy. It was special to receive such a gift.

The Sumerian tablets are dated around 4000 BC and accurately relate the
stories of celestial planets that exist in our solar system complete with their moons, their dominate gaseous or aquatic features,
their colors and their sizes. All of these being accurate.

The tablets discovered record the existence of Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus.
These are planets that were not discovered by our scientists until the last three centuries.
Pluto being discovered in this one.
And let go in this one. Even Sumer was thought to be a legend until 50 years ago.

The imperfections often found on these newly discovered Celebration Urns, were thought to be a mark of their residence
in the world of mortals rather than the gods. These marks serve to remind us of our movement forward.

The Celebration and Galaxy Urns transform Energy around them and facilitate change and discovery in Onesí Self.
The message: Explore.

Reproduced by Michael Berkley Pottery
© 1999-2009

pit fired celebration urn StarryNight           Michael Berkley Pit fire image
Michael Berkley Pit fire image
Michael Berkley Pit fire image
Michael Berkley Pit fire image
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