A section of the trolley soda kiln from our open studio last

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A section of the trolley soda kiln from our open studio last

A section of the trolley soda kiln from our open studio last

A section of the trolley soda kiln from our open studio last weekend. Inspecting the pieces from above as it rolls out along it’s tracks and making sure none of the pots topple over. The few shelves visible are those at the back of the fire boxes, so have received the brunt of the flame for many hours during top temperatures. This explains why the little tan espresso cups at the top of the stack have tremendous amounts of soda accumulation and have turned glassy green opposed to being tan like the teapots and storage jars to the right. Many of Lisa’s sake bottles, yunomis and a number of chawans in this area welded quite firmly to the shelf, even with large waddings and coarse alumina spread beneath them. Most could be carefully prised off without any damage apart from a few which had to be drilled and carefully taken off with a dremel or claw chisel. All the soda fired functional work is glazed with a slip, which means when it’s fired and the soda doesn’t touch it, it’ll emerge dry and matte. It needs the sodium carbonate to obtain a glassy surface. The trouble with soda firing with proper, fluxing glazes is that they still melt even without the soda building up. So when the two combine it’s essentially two thick layers of glaze on top of one another. Resulting in surfaces full of depth and interest, but ones that like to melt and flow all over the shelves and waddings. These front two stacks across the front definitely yielded the best results, all the tan and blue soda pots that were beneath the front layer came out brilliantly. Sadly the rest wasn’t quite as interesting and much of it was dry. The problem with soda kilns is their lifespan, this one was built in 1994, which makes it almost as old as me. Over the first five years the sodium builds up on the walls and ceiling and the results will slowly get better and better. Then for roughly ten or so years it’ll operate optimally before beginning to worsen as the bricks are literally eaten away by the extremely aggressive nature of soda firing. #pottery #ceramics #ceramic #clay #maker #liveauthentic #craft #craftsmanship #handmade
floriangadsby used Normal filter and shared for art.

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