Originally found in ancient China and Korea, saggars were containers used to protect wares from air born ash created during the firing of ancient wood and coal-fired kilns. I make my saggars from stoneware clay, place my vessel inside the saggar and fill it with organic materials (straw, sawdust, excelsior) that have been previously soaked in solutions of mineral salts. The vessels are fired for several hours in the temperature range of 1200-1500 degrees F. The mineral salts create a variety of beautiful organic patterns of soft pinks, blues, lite greens, burgundies, and peach tones.
Before being fired, the wares are prepared with an ancient clay slip recipe known as Terra Sigillatta or “earth seal”. Layers of very fine particle clay are painstakingly applied to the bone-dry clay vessel and then polished by hand, creating a glossy or satin colored finish.
Low-temperature Saggar fired vessels are for decorative use only and should not be considered food safe.