I just came across this little instructional video for a making a USB powered mini pottery wheel out of an old hard disk drive:
Of course this is not something that you could really go into production with, but it is pretty amusing. Maybe I can talk Ian into trying out this little hack sometime. It probably wouldn’t be a great idea to have clay so close to a computer. Perhaps a USB extension cord would be an important part of this project.
If anyone out there tries this out, please let me know… and send pictures!
I thought that it would be fun to try to round up as many online resources for folks who are interested in soda firing and put it together into one handy post. Since there isn’t that much publish (relatively speaking), I think it has the possibility of being relatively comprehensive. I hope you enjoy reading the results of my research as much as I did!
You might remember this site that is all about Salt and Soda firing that I wrote about a while back. It’s a social networking site for all people interested in these firing processes. There are some fantastic potters and sculptors that are a part of this site as well as students who are just beginning to dabbling in soda. I highly encourage you to dive in- sign up and make a page. The more the merrier (don’t be shy if you’re just beginning in soda!) There are recipes for slips and glazes as well as a forum for putting questions out there. Are you thinking about converting an old electric kiln into a soda kiln? There’s a discussion going on here for you. And this site is always evolving- it’ll be whatever the members make it.
Salt & Soda tags on the ClayArt archives on Potters.org. It’s worth digging into. It’s quite possible that someone else had the same exact question as you 8 months ago.
Blogs that focus on soda firing: (I had to draw a line somewhere… so I drew it at soda firing bloggers. If I’m missing any, please let me know!)
Of course there is this blog, PotteryBlog.com. About 95% of my pots are soda fired, and I try to share with you interesting soda information. Soon I’ll be posting a whole bunch of information about the use of whiting in my soda mix (the soda geeks will be psyched for this one!)
Here are some posts that you might find extra interesting if you’re a soda firing fool: What is Soda Firing A Happy Soda Firing Hot Pots
Julie Rozman, a fellow Lillstreeter, also writes a blog, Design Realized. She shares a lot of her glaze testing and firing info on her site. You should be sure to check it out!
Scott Cooper makes beautiful wood & soda fired pots. He also writes about his work and process in his journal, This Week @ St. Earth. You should also be sure to check out his “process” page where he has tons of information that is interesting and helpful.
Keith Kreeger makes salt/soda fired pots at his studio/gallery on Cape Code (although he has been venturing into earthenware lately). You can learn more about his soda work on his blog, Kreeger Pottery Blog.
I just discovered Joy Tanner’s Blog. I’ve gotten to know Joy’s work through the Salt/Soda group and I’ve excited that there is another soda firer writing a blog!
Websites that have a wealth of soda info on them: (These are sites that have information on them about soda firing- kiln info, recipes, etc…)
Julia Galloway’sAlchemy page. Julia generously shares with her information on cone 6 soda firing, including slip and glaze recipes.
Scott Cooper (as mentioned above) has a great process page with tons of information on kiln building, glaze recipes and even clay recipes. Not to mention some beautiful pots!
Robbie Lobell makes beautiful, elegant soda fired ovenware and tableware. He has a page on his site about his kiln and soda firing process. He lives in Coupeville, WA mentions on his site that he will rent out 1/4, 1/2 or the whole kiln to experienced firers.
Books on Soda Firing:
Soda, Clay and Fire by Gail Nichols is a must have for anyone interested in firing with soda. This book is the culmination of Gail’s PhD work in soda firing in Material Science at Monash University in Gippland, Victoria, Austrailia. The research is incredible and it’s an easy read. Two things that don’t always go together so easily. I think if you picked up this book knowing clay, but not knowing soda, you might decide that you need to start soda firing by the end. But I’m a bit biased on these things. You can also learn a bit more about this book here.
Ruthanne Tudball’s book, Soda Glazing is the original text on soda firing. There has been so little actually published on soda (especially in comparison to other firing techniques) because of the youthfulness of the process. This is a book that I kept close to me for many years. There are overviews of different potters and their soda approaches as well as a great index of glaze, slip and clay recipes. Again, this is a book that you need to have on your bookshelf if you’re making soda fired work.
Videos about soda firing: (if you’re reading this through your email or a blog reader, you’ll won’t see the videos below. Just head over to Pottery Blog to see the videos)
From Pottery Northwest:
And a series of 3 informative videos fromJeffrey Huebner:
I really have enjoyed this. Please send me links to things that you think might be missing from here and I’ll keep updating this post. This was a big project and I had to put some sort of limits on it. I decided not to include links to soda firing potters & sculptors in this post. I know that there a ton out there with great websites, but I thought I’d limit it to sites that had technical information on it. Another post will be soda firing ceramicists. That will be fun ; ) If you want to give me a hand with that, just leave a comment with suggestions for me to include. Just remember: folks who fire with*soda* or *soda/salt,* but not just salt.
I’ve been catching up on reading many weeks worth of clay blogs, and I came across this video that Jeanette posted a couple weeks back of Ira Glass talking about the creative process. I just had to pass it on (you’ll see why).
I’ve always been intrigued with why people start making pots, tiles or sculpture as adults and what keeps them going. What makes them walk through the door of an art center that first time to try sometime new? This clip gives some nice insight into these questions.