Dasha Kalisz

I was introduced to pit firing while enrolled in my first ceramic class in Lake Tahoe, California in 1993. It amazed me that fire could imprint clay and leave beautiful rustic and organic patterns on the ceramic’s surface. This experience inspired me to use my vessels to record the path of the flame and smoke.

The surface and form of the pit-fired vessels are an important part of recording the fire’s path and I anticipate how the fire will interact with my porcelain forms as I create them by hand-building or on the potter’s wheel. I often construct a form by stacking wheel thrown vessels to create height. This process is a way to mirror the shape of the “kiln” — the tall, stacked pieces record the path of the fire as it burns from the top of the kiln downwards.