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Salt Firing

Salt firing is a vapor-glazing process where salt (sodium chloride) is introduced into kiln firebox at high temperature. The salt vaporizes, and sodium vapor combines with silica in clay surface, forming extremely hard sodium-silicate glaze. Many ceramic artists and potters use the salt firing technique to great creative effect on their work and in this section, they share tips, techniques, firing schedules and more. Plus, if you haven't already, be sure to download your free copy of the The Salt Glaze Surface: A Guide to Salt Glazing and Firing, a terrific reference if you are interested in salt firing.


Five Tips for Successful Stacking in a Salt (or Soda or Wood) Kiln

Posted On August 3, 2015 2 Comments

Today, salt and wood firing potter Michael Kline takes us through his wadding process sharing his wadding recipe and tips for successful stacking in the kiln. He also explains how he adds sea shells into the mix for a nice flashing effect.


How to Decorate Pottery Surfaces with Slips in the Bisque State

Posted On April 28, 2014 6 Comments

Slip has many uses in the pottery studio. Most often, slip is used on clay in the green state, but potter Terry Gess does things a little differently. He uses slip to decorate his pottery surfaces when they are in the bisqueware state. He likes the freedom that comes with knowing he can experiment and if he doesn’t like the results he can just wash it off and start over. But there are technical challenges to this method. Today, Terry explains the challenges and the method he has developed to overcome those challenges. He also shares three of his slip recipes. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

Cathi Jefferson applies some brushed line decoration to a mug for salt glazing.

Ceramics Decorating Video: Beautiful Brushwork – Cathi Jefferson Shares her Decorative Techniques

Posted On April 30, 2010 31 Comments

In today’s video, Cathi Jefferson demonstrates the decorative brushwork techniques she uses on her salt glazed work, showing both the decorative process and the finished results after the firing. Even though Cathi fires in a salt kiln – something I (and probably most of you readers) don’t have access to – I was completely inspired to try some of these techniques with the glazes I use at cone 6 electric. You should too! (And send me photos of the results! I might just post some on the daily blog!)


An Introduction to Salt-Soda Firing – Kiln Considerations and Loading Techniques that Enhance Results

Posted On April 16, 2010 22 Comments

In today’s video, Gordon Hutchens gives us a quick introduction to the salt/soda firing technique. He explains some of the considerations that go into building a salt/soda kiln (do not try this in an electric kiln or any other kiln that you wish to use for any other type of firing!). He also discusses some of the ways you can get great decorative results from the way the ware is placed in the kiln. If you wanted to know more about salt/soda firing, this video is a great place to start!


Super Salt Glaze and Slip Recipes: An Excerpt From Our New Free Download The Salt Glaze Surface

Posted On January 18, 2010 24 Comments

Today, I am presenting a Will Ruggles and Douglass Rankin slip recipe and tips for salt firing, excerpted from our latest free download The Salt Glaze Surface: A Guide to Salt Glazing and Firing. In addition, potter Cathi Jefferson explains how she used these recipes combined with terra sigilatta and Andrew Wong’s Luster Glaze to make the beautiful checkered surface shown here.


Way-Easy Wadding: A Great Tip for Salt, Soda, and Wood Firing Potters

Posted On July 27, 2009 21 Comments

University of Alabama graduate student Jason Doblin explains the method the UA ceramics department has come up with to make wadding pots foolproof.