I have recently written about my love of wood-firing. I have an equal if not greater love of pots fired with soda (sodium bicarbonate). It used to be that when walking into an art gallery I was immediately drawn to the pottery. (Why it took me 30 odd years to find my way to the wheel I will never know). Now when walking into a pottery gallery, I find myself immediately drawn to soda firing. I just love the surface that comes from introducing soda to the kiln.
While I have a great appreciation for soda-fired pots, I have little experience with it myself. When I was in Italy last year, we soda-fired three kiln loads of work. So I won’t replicate here the details of soda-firing. I’ll let Emily Murphy give you the details if you are interested. Suffice to say for the lay person, we get the kiln really, really hot and then introduce baking soda to the kiln in various ways. In Italy, we mixed a hot solution of water and baking soda and introduced it to the kiln via an angle iron. Others use a garden sprayer. But I digress.
When I wood-fire at Baltimore Clayworks, we add salt and sometimes baking soda to the second chamber of the kiln. Soda has a similar effect, although a tad harsher, i.e., more orange peel effect.
In celebration of my love for soda-fired work, I am beginning a new series called Salty Sunday. Like my Wood-fired Wednesdays, I will post a single photo of a soda and/or salt-fired pot each Sunday. I hope you enjoy. And if you have any recommendations for work I should highlight, please let me know. Also, I welcome and encourage all comments.
Thanks for reading,