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Ben Freund: Saggar and Pit Fired Ceramics

August 17 @ 10:00 am September 1 @ 5:00 pm

🗓️ Dates: Saturdays and Sundays, August 17 – September 1, 2024 (3 sessions)

⏰ Time: Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Sunday 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

🏢 Location: Baltimore Clayworks

💵 Fee: $265 ($250 for members)

👥 Ages: 16 and up, All Levels Welcome


This workshop will be an intensive introduction to low fire atmospheric ceramics for experienced artists. It will cover the theory and practice of creating fumed nonfunctional ceramic work. The first day will include lecture and hands on experience on appropriate forms and clay bodies, burnishing, safety, making terra sigilata, creating saggars, kilns and pits, safety, what organics and chemicals are safe to use, firing styles and temperatures, safety, finishing work, and what the hell is low fire fuming anyway. I will use examples from my own work as well as letting you in on some of my favorite secrets and recipes. We will answer the question that everyone wants to ask, “can I make this food safe?”. The answer is NO. Then participants will be given a couple of weeks to create and bisque their own work and we will return for a full day of firing pits and gas saggar kilns. Day three we are back to unveil our work, talk about results, and clean up.

A working knowledge of the foundations of ceramics is requisite. Vapor rated respirators are encouraged, and will be required if you want to get close to the actual firing. Please bring one BONE DRY piece to the first day of lecture larger than an orange but smaller than a honeydew. Actual fruit is fine too, as lunch will not be provided. Raku will NOT be covered.

  • August 17: 6 hours demo and lecture (1 hour for lunch)
  • August 31: 6 hours loading and firing, (bring a lunch)
  • September 1: 3 hours unloading and cleaning, eat after


Ben Freund

Ben Freund is a ceramic artist who has been honing his craft around the countryfor over 20 years. Currently based in pastoral Baltimore County, he is constantlyexperimenting with the limits of what clay can do. Though his studio practicespans the gamut from simple functional ware to exhaustive mechanical sculpture,and from delicate porcelain to coarse earthenware, they are all tied together byhis keen feeling for form and a knowledge of history. His current push is to beable to develop a small studio capable of hosting other artists in the communityso he can share his knowledge and benefit from theirs