Saggar firing is a type of smoke-firing in which each pot is enclosed and fired in a lidded container. After throwing a pot, it is painstakingly burnished (smoothed) with a stone giving the surface a beautiful, silky glow that seems to come from within. The piece is allowed to dry completely, then several layers of a fine liquid clay called Terra Sigillata are applied and it is polished again after each coat. It is then fired to approx. 1000 degrees Centigrade and is ready to be saggar-fired.
The piece is then placed in a saggar (a two piece, thick-walled clay container) which has been individually thrown to fit the pot, along with some combustible materials such as sawdust, straw, seaweed, copper etc. The pots, nested in their saggars, are placed in a kiln and fired a second time. Many pieces are fired several times to achieve a desired surface effect, leaving the pots richly marked with visual texture, pattern, and a myriad of colours.
To protect the surface of the pots, they are given a light coating of wax and may be wiped with a damp cloth when necessary. These pieces are not designed to hold water.