I can get lost in the sumptuous surfaces of Gail Nichols’ soda fired work. The way she skillfully “paints” her pots through the firing process is fascinating and the results are breathtaking – from the rich dimpled textures to her trademark “soda ice” blue hues. Though I have never participated in a soda firing, it rose to the top of my “must do list” after reading Nichols’ book . Now, I just need to find someone willing to share their soda kiln (sigh). In today’s feature, we bring you a couple of Gail Nichols’ recipes and techniques for soda firing.
For anyone interested in soda or salt firing, Soda, Clay and Fire covers the topic in great detail. The technical research and presentation surpass all existing literature on the topic, and the rich, vibrant examples of finished work are stunning and sure to inspire. With soda firing, the creative process continues until the kiln is turned off. Nichols’ book discusses the principles behind this technique and delves into clays, glazes, loading protocols, firing schedules and more. Also included are profiles of other artists working with this technique and examples of their work.
Atmospheric firing is really exciting because you can continue to influence the surfaces of your pots all the way through the firing process. Plus there’s always an element of surprise when the kiln is unloaded.
In today’s post, an excerpt from Soda Firing (which is now available as a download!), Gail Nichols gives pointers on how to get great effects on your soda fired pots by creative kiln loading. Some of these techniques could be helpful in wood and salt firing as well. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.