From my last soda firing

I put this most together last week but didn’t manage to post it before heading north for the weekend.

As I mentioned in my last post, I fired my first soda kiln of 2009 last Sunday.  I unloaded it on Wednesday between classes and managed to snap a couple of quick pictures in the process.  We’ve been having some crazy weather here in Chicago that has kept me from going back to my studio to spend some time with these pieces and to take more pictures. We’ve had back to back to back snow storms and it got cold enough for the thermometer to hit -15°F. That meant that I didn’t get back to the studio to take some decent pictures before heading out for a road trip, but I thought I’d share a quick sneak peak from the unloading.

I’m hoping that I can figure out a way to capture the surface of this piece.  It is full of little sparkly crystals. I’ve never had crystals develop over such a large area in this kiln before. Of course you can’t see them in this picture, but you can see the kiln wash splattered floor in the background!


This is one of the espresso cups and saucers that I mentioned before.  This sweet little cup is maybe just under 3″ tall.  While I was unloading, I discovered that one of these saucers mysteriously made it into the kiln without any wadding… oops!


I’m regretting that I didn’t take a pictures that had any sense of scale.  This teacup is much larger than the espresso cup above.

teacup-saucerThis firing was all part of a large dinnerware set from a wedding registry that I have been working on for my friends Beth and Lars.  Hopefully I’ll get some better photos of the set to share here soon.

9 thoughts on “From my last soda firing

    1. Thanks Linda! I will definitely post some more pictures- and I’m anxious to get a good shot of this platter. I think I might have my photographer friend do it. I don’t think I’ll be able to capture the light hitting the crystals myself.

  1. These colors look great. I particularly like the heavy soda on the bottom cup and saucer. I sometimes wish I would get some of that type of surface on my pots, but then the pattern gets blown away.

    Stay warm.

    1. Thanks Michael. I do a little mix of pots with details that need lower soda and others that can handle the juicy soda. Because this kiln was full of one huge order, I couldn’t mix it up as much. It was a kiln that was packed full of runny colorful soda. Much more than usual.

    1. There are 3 things that allowed me to get such a surface on the plates.
      1. They are super flat. There is no curve or lip to interrupt the hit of soda.
      2. They have 2 glazes sprayed on them which helps avoid any “dry” spots.
      3. They were loaded on taller shelves with the cups so the kiln was a little looser than usual. The kiln doesn’t like to have short tight shelves, so if I do plates, I have to mix them up like that.

      Generally, I avoid plates as much as possible in the soda kiln. The dinner & lunch plates for this set are actually fired in just a straight up c.10 reduction kiln. No soda.

  2. What I love about both of the cups is that the outside is slammed with glaze and soda- chaotic both from a process viewpoint and visually. Then the inside (looks as though it) is a quiet eggshell, with little reactivity or exposure. The inside sets up the outside…I’m sure there are conclusions to be drawn about the intrapersonal significance of using such vessels.

    It doesn’t look as though the cups were fired on the saucers- or were they?


    1. Thanks Jordan. The insides of the cups are glazed with a simple white liner. The plates (lunch and dinner) are not soda fired. They’re the same white glaze with 2 simple turquoise lines. I think it really balances out the place setting to have some moments of visual calm.
      You’re right, the cups weren’t fired on the saucers. The centers of the saucers are also glazed with the white glaze. It’s not the most efficient way to fire the pieces, but I felt like it was an important enough design element that I would sacrifice efficiency for aesthetics.

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