Soda Kiln

Cross-draft Soda Kiln

The Goal:

  • Produce beautiful soda fired pots with minimum labor
  • Eco-friendly
  • Highly fuel efficient

The Challenge

  • Suburban/urban location
  • Limited space/neighbors
  • Control of soda distribution throughout the kiln

The Results

  • Small footprint
  • 8 hour firings
  • Ergonomically friendly
  • 12-14 gallon propane use max. per firing
  • Smokeless/quiet
  • Beautiful surfaces on the pots using slips and glazes
  • Cross draft distributes the soda vapor throughout the kiln, creating a directional tone on the surface of the pots

Process

1st-stack-before-firingI work in either porcelain or stoneware clays which react with rich color surfaces in a soda kiln. Once my forms are complete and are leather-hard, I dip or spray them with flashing slips that will flash red, peach or yellow-orange tones from the soda vapors in the kiln. Once the pots are bone dry, I bisque, glaze, then wad them and load into the kiln to fire.

During the end of the firing I introduce soda through a port in the firebox. I mix a soda paste that is applied on wood sticks which keeps the temperature up and assists in distributing the soda vapor throughout the kiln. The soda acts like a glaze creating variable directional tones within the clay surfaces.
After the firing, I clear the kiln and close it up to cool overnight and unload the next day.

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