How to Fire Low-Fire Pottery

How to Fire Low-Fire Pottery

When it comes to ceramics techniques, knowing how to fire low-fire pottery is one of the basic techniques that you’ll certainly want to learn. Low-firing pottery was the most preferred ceramics method in ancient times and is also used by many contemporary potters.
You need some space to experiment with varying low fire pottery techniques. Low firing pottery allows artists to create great effects by adding burnishing pieces and slips which is not possible through other pottery methods. We are going to discuss the step-by-step process for low firing pottery and creating natural finishes.

Step-by-Step Process of Low Firing Pottery

Dry Your Green Pottery: Fresh made pottery is full of moisture and it is important that all the atmospheric water is evaporated before the firing process is started. One has to be very careful that the pottery dries evenly and slowly. Skipping this procedure will lead to cracking and warping of the pottery.
Bisque Fire Your Pottery: The next step in the process is to bisque fire your pottery. You need to set the kiln sitter prior to placing the upper shelves and then load the kiln carefully. The process involves bisque firing low-fire clay pottery so there is no harm in heating the pottery above the glaze temperature. The main purpose of heating clay pots at a higher temperature is to tighten up the clay body to a great extent.
Start Glazing Your Pottery: After your pottery is bisqued and removed from the kiln, you can start decorating your pots. It is always great fun to glaze your pottery, especially if you are experimenting with new colors or clay types. It is advised to coat the bottom and outer sides of the pot with wax resist before using glazes. The glazed pottery will appear very different after the firing process compared to before the heat is applied. Refer to any previous glazing experience to help strengthen your pottery glazing technique. It takes a lot of time to perfect this art!
Glaze Fire Your Pottery: Make sure that the glazed pieces are completely dry before setting them in the kiln. It is important to give at least a 1/2-inch clearance space between the pots during the firing process. You have to carefully monitor and keep to the firing schedule of your pottery during the firing process. A good strategy for glazing is explained here: Fire the pots for 2 hours at 150 ̊ F per hour; 3 hours with ramp at 400 ̊ F per hour; ramp pottery at 150 ̊ F until the desired temperature is obtained. Again, experimentation will do your creativity some good so practice and learn from your mistakes.
After all of these steps, allow the pottery to cool down slowly to the temperature of 200 ̊ F and then open the kiln. Your pottery can be safely unloaded now and you can show it off to your friends and family!

November 25, 2013


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