Ceramic containers called saggars are handmade from a different type of clay. Each saggar holds an individual pot packed with sawdust, hard woods, and a variety of combustible materials such as paper, straw, dry weeds, grass, iron, and ceramic colorants.
With saggars stacked in the kiln, the firing begins with a soft flame for the first hour, gradually increasing the temperature to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit over the next 4-8 hours. At this point, the burners are shut off, the openings are plugged, and the kiln remains undisturbed for 18-20 hours. The burning of the combustible materials traps carbon on the surface of the burnished forms. Hot areas produce a white or gray color and a slow burning fire creates black.