Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Earthenware Soda Unloading

So alot has happened in the last few weeks: 2 sales and lots of lack of sleep, so that will be my excuse for not getting images up and word out about the Claymakers low fire soda excursion. Overall, I was pleased with the firing. I think some of the students were a little disappointed because we did have quite a bit of dry whiteness, but there were also some real winners in the firing.

The front of the kiln was much cooler and less reduced than the middle or back. The pic above is the front stack after the firing. The middle of the kiln was way hotter (cone 1 flat, whereas cone 04 throughout the front and back of the kiln) and much more reduced, so we got really good glaze melt, slip flashing, and soda coverage in the middle stack. The back stack was a nice mix of the front and middle: not too hot, not too reduced, just right. Although, I will say the middle looked more like a typical (i.e. cone 6 or 10) soda firing whereas the front was one step away from firing in an electric kiln.

Here are all the pots laid out on the ground, we were able to get quite a few pots in this kiln load. We had a nice variety of sizes and shapes to help motivate the flame and soda distribution.

A couple of super sweet pitchers by one of the students, Lisa Brown. Her pitcher forms were in the middle and picked up some good color and soda glazing.

This final pic is of my "mimbres" inspired cross-eyed tadpole bowl. I really like it, and the interior is finished with terra sigs, however I remembered after firing it that I had made it out of a cone 6 red stoneware, so this pot is punky and still very absorbent. (I made a purple cabbage coleslaw in it and now its stained blue).

Like I said, overall I was very happy with the firing, but I would reduce more next time and also try and wait until some cone 1's are tipping, because in my eyes the middle of the kiln worked out the best. And the students who had work there were the lucky ones (Sorry Corinne!). Also, the clay body that got the most color and took soda was Highwater Clays Earthen Red, a fairly smooth clay body with a range of cone 06-5, so no worries with overfiring. I'm happy to send out sig, slip, and glaze recipes to anyone interested. Just let me know!


  1. I think this all looks pretty darn good. I like those cups with the grass/wheat pattern and yes those pitchers got some nice action.
    That first pic shows a couple of cups/bowls that are reddish... is that a terra sig? Thanks for the pics.

  2. ron: thanks for the comments, the reddish is actually pumpkin orange and comes from a sig made from calvert clay, which someone told me is a fire clay, not sure if its available anymore. its like avery on steroids in the low fire...im going to test it at cone 6 in soda next month.

    lisa b.: just speaking the truth, nice pitchers!

  3. I am very interested in glaze and slip recipes and the firing schedule!

  4. nate, ill try to get those recipes posted soon, or ill send them to you. ill either put them here on the blog or on facebook. havent figured out which is easier yet. on vacation and then a workshop, so could be a few weeks. thanks for your interest.

  5. very nice results, i've not heard of earthenware soda so good one thanks..I'm just waiting on some connections for my burner and i'll be testing some cone6 soda..

  6. Hi, Im a student at UF. I am planning on trying some cone 2-3 soda firings this semester. I would also love to see your recipies posted on line!

  7. would love to know about your firing process!Very exciting results