Soda firing, along with salt firing and wood firing, is known as “atmospheric firing”, because the atmosphere inside the kiln contributes directly to the surface appearance of the work. As with wood fire, the clay bodies, glazes and slips are carefully chosen for the way they react chemically to the firing method.  It is all about achieving beautiful surfaces! Due to the high temperature firing, soda fired work is highly functional and is microwave, oven, refrigerator and even freezer-safe. It can be washed in the dishwasher, but I always hand wash my prized pieces.

Soda firing typically takes place in a gas fired hard brick kiln over approximately a 12 hour period.  Temperatures reach about 2350 degrees Fahrenheit.  At about 2300 degrees, a saturated solution of soda, in the form of bicarbonate of soda or soda ash, is sprayed into the kiln through various ports. The kiln is designed and stacked to encourage turbulent flow, but the atmosphere is never completely homogenous. At these high temperatures, the soda combines with minerals in the clay and glazes, giving them a special depth and beauty.

Enjoy!   Beverly Curtis

Click on any image to view an enlargement. If you are interested in a particular artwork, or have an idea for a specially commissioned piece, I would enjoy talking to you about it. Please go to my contact page to email or call me directly.

Three classic vases with glaze trailed in decorative patterns. Flames flash and soda glazes the exposed clay,

A tall vase with glaze pours decorating the surface.  The soda affects the glaze, giving it depth and beauty.

The bottom sections of these vases are decorated with porcelain slip trails, leaving exposed clay for the soda to glaze.

Three small vases with colored slip trailing.

A classic vase shape with porcelain slip trailed in a wheat design.

A well-reduced soda fired cruet for syrups, oil, vinegar or soaps.

A open casserole dish can go from the oven directly to the table. 

This iced tea set is decorated with glaze brushed on in a checkered pattern. The generous pitcher holds over two quarts.

A small yellow cruet for handsoap looks nice on a tiled countertop.

Small, faceted bowls are always useful and fun to use.

These small jugs are a good size for soy sauce or oil and vinegar.  They are thrown, faceted on the wheel while still wet, then dried to leather hard before trimming.  They are glazed with classic Chinese glazes (tenmoku or oribe) to the shoulder before soda firing. 

Gravy boats are thrown in a bowl shape, then formed while wet on the wheel.

A covered casserole heats food evenly and makes an elegant serving dish.  This one is decorated with wax resist in leaf designs before glazing.

Goblets echo the leaf design with porcelain slip trailing.