Sagger (aka Saggar) Fired

sagger [ sag-er ] noun: a box or case made of refractory baked clay in which the finer ceramic wares are enclosed and protected while firing. For the potter's purposes, foil may also be used as a sagger.

In this example, the artist loads the bottom portion of a 2-piece sagger with combustible materials such as sawdust or wood shavings and copper carbonate. Copper and steel wires are applied to the pot and it is placed in the sagger. Several lidded sagger pots are stacked in the kiln where they are heated to 1700 degrees. The heat causes the materials to fume and adhere to the pot. The finished pot is cleaned and a sealant is applied to the surface.

Finished Piece

Foil acts as the outer vessel in the examples below. In addition to the combustible materials, potters often experiment with such things as copper carbonate, copper wire, granulated plant food, dried banana peels, dried coffee grounds, salt and sugar, even dog food, to achieve vibrant colors. Typically the pots are painted with ferric chloride before being wrapped with the other materials in heavy aluminum foil. The pots are tumble stacked in the kiln, which is heated to 1300 degrees, causing the materials to fume and adhere to the pots. Pots that are fired in foil saggers are often more dramatic in color due to the various added materials.