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Soda Firing

Soda firing has been touted as modern-day nontoxic replacement for salt firing. In the soda firing process, soda ash (sodium carbonate) in water solution, instead of salt, is sprayed into kiln at maturing temperature, and sodium vapor combines with silica in clay to form sodium-silicate glaze. In this section, ceramic artists will share the results of their experimentation with the soda firing process. You’ll find everything from firing schedules to glaze recipes, to beautiful examples of soda fired work. Plus, if you haven't already, be sure to download your free copy of the Soda Firing Techniques, Tips and Soda Glaze Recipes, a directory of ceramics suppliers, plus reference material for the studio artist - professional or amateur, student or teacher.


Painting with Fire: Recipes and Techniques for Soda Firing

Posted On April 21, 2014 7 Comments

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.


Creative Kiln Loading: Maximizing Decorative Effects in Atmospheric Firings

Posted On July 3, 2013 1 Comment

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.


Wheel Throwing Video: Matt Long – Making Mugs with Movement

Posted On December 24, 2010 25 Comments

Today’s video is an oldie but a goodie. It’s from Matt’s Vessels for Victory DVD. One of the reasons I like this DVD is because Matt talks about the “why to” as much as the “how to.” Sometimes it is easy to concentrate only on how to throw a particular pot, but not really think about the aesthetic choices made along the way. But Matt reminds us to keep thinking about why we make those choices and about how effective they are visually and functionally.


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!

Don't let this happen to you! This lovely surface was ruined by a flake of kiln wash.

The Many Layers of Kiln Wash: How to Find the Best Kiln Wash for Your Firing Temperature and Methods

Posted On September 28, 2009 17 Comments

In this post, John Britt explains that giving a bit more consideration to kiln wash might help potters avoid some of the common kiln wash headaches – like scraping cracked kiln wash off shelves or lamenting an otherwise perfect piece that was ruined by a flake of kiln wash. Plus he shares some kiln wash recipes for various firing techniques.


In the Soda Zone

Posted On March 10, 2008 0 Comments

After reading Gail Nichols’ book Soda, Clay and Fire and her article in Ceramics Monthly by the same name, Mark Bollwinkel and his potter friends decided to do some experimenting with soda firing in the wood kiln they fire together.