Get Ready for Firing – Checklist

Preparing pottery for kiln firing involves several essential steps to ensure the best possible outcome.

Please view our Blog for more help, but here are some general guidelines:

Your Steps

  • Wedge the clay: Before you start working with clay, it’s important to wedge it. Wedging is a process of kneading and working the clay to remove air bubbles, improve its consistency, and ensure even drying and firing. Wedging helps to prevent cracking or warping during firing.
  • Trim and smooth your pottery: After shaping your pottery on the wheel or by hand-building, you may need to trim and smooth the edges or surfaces. Trimming involves removing excess clay from the bottom or sides of your pottery to create a clean and even shape. Smoothing the surfaces with a sponge or rib helps to eliminate any rough spots or imperfections.
  • Add decorative elements: If you want to add any decorative elements to your pottery, such as handles, knobs, or textures, now is the time to do so. Attach them securely to your pottery using appropriate techniques like scoring and slip, and make sure they are properly aligned and well-attached to avoid issues during firing.
  • Dry your pottery thoroughly: It’s crucial to allow your pottery to air dry thoroughly before firing. This typically involves letting your pieces sit uncovered in a dry, well-ventilated area for an extended period of time, depending on the size and thickness of the pottery. This helps to prevent cracking or warping during the firing process.
  • Bisque firing: Before your pottery can undergo the final firing, known as glaze firing, it needs to go through a preliminary firing called bisque firing. This firing helps to remove any remaining moisture from the clay and hardens it to a more durable state, making it ready for glazing.
  • Apply glaze properly: Glaze is a glass-like coating that is applied to the bisque-fired pottery to give it a glossy, decorative finish. It’s important to apply glaze carefully and evenly to ensure a smooth and consistent coating. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and applying glaze, and be mindful of any specific firing requirements for the type of glaze you’re using

Our Steps

  • Load the kiln carefully: Proper kiln loading is crucial for successful firing. We make sure your pottery is placed on kiln shelves or posts, leaving enough space between each piece for air circulation. We avoid overloading the kiln, as this can cause uneven firing and lead to issues like warping or cracking.
  • Follow firing schedule: Each type of clay and glaze has specific firing requirements, so it’s important that we follow a firing schedule that is appropriate for your pottery. This includes gradually increasing the temperature in the kiln to the desired firing temperature and then carefully monitoring and controlling the temperature and duration of the firing process.
  • Allow for cooling and unloading: After the firing process is complete, we allow the kiln to cool down gradually before opening it. Rapid cooling can cause thermal shock and result in cracks or other damage to your pottery. Once the kiln is cool, we carefully unload your pottery and inspect it for any signs of damage.

Preparing pottery for kiln firing requires attention to detail and adherence to proper techniques and firing schedules. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific requirements of your clay and glaze, and follow best practices to ensure successful and safe firing of your pottery. If you’re new to pottery or unsure about the firing process, it’s recommended to seek guidance from experienced potters or professionals to ensure the best results.