A note on colour, pattern and shade

The images shown here indicate the shape and size of this product – not the exact colour, pattern and shade.

Our ceramic works undergo blackfiring with natural materials such as leaves, flowers, shed snakeskin, feathers and seaweed. These materials fire in different and delightful ways, revealing shades ranging from an almost limestone cream, through to gunmetal grey and moody charcoal black.

samples of colours, patterns and shade of Elisa Bartels blackfire ceramics

Of course, this firing can only be performed once, creating one-off ceramic designs.

We endeavour to list the pattern source and the dominant shade as light, medium or dark in this product inventory. A rough guide:

Shades from light to dark

In addition to the monochrome shades, an individual piece may suprise us with touches of colours such as reds, yellows, inky blues, ochres and gold.

I celebrate the variations and individuality  of each piece and I hope you do, too.

~ Elisa Bartels

“Clay is a nuanced material that transcends the domestic environment and confidently straddles the perceived divide between art and design.”

The blackfire process

Elisa is propelled to explore the ephemeral cycle of nature.

Her black fired ceramics aim to capture and emulate the fleeting moments of beauty in bloom and decay that signifies the transition of seasons and life cycle of plants.

Elisa Bartels black fired ceramics centre around the transformational alchemy of firing with sawdust in a closed container.

Each piece is wrapped in leaves and then placed in a tin with saw dust and sealed.

During the firing process the pores of the clay open and the smoke of the burning sawdust enters the piece. The leaves on the surface act as a resist.

As the work cools the pores close and smoke is trapped in the clay body resulting in a spectrum of finishes from black to grey with imprints of the leaves.


All the pieces are sealed making them food safe and dishwasher friendly. However, they prefer a gentle human touch.