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Why Soda Firing

The pots in a soda kiln usually don’t have much glaze on the outsides of them, they are glazed by the introduction on soda ash, which volatiles when it hits the flame and creates a glaze. The flame then carries the soda ash through the kiln and the pots become glazed wherever the flame and soda kiss the pots.

Here you see me spraying the soda ash which is mixed with boiling water, into the kiln at about 2200 degrees.

 The results can be greatly varied with this type of firing. For me, that's a big part of the fun of it. You never know with 100% certainty, what you will get from the kilns.

This pot shows where the glaze hit the surface and really added a nice difference in appearance. The green you see is a spearmint glaze that I used inside the pot and along the rim. The soda mixed with that glaze and made it very dark, almost black in some spots and almost white in others. You can also see where it kissed the shoulder of the vessel and the handles. The orange color is from a flas…

Sleeping Ceramic Kitty

When I was in 7th or 8th grade I was playing with one of my friends in a park near the Junior High School we attended when we saw one of the local bullies approaching.  I remember bracing myself for whatever taunts this kid was going to hurl at us. He wasn’t the worst of the bullies but who needs that.  As he approached I could see he was holding something in his hands. I was surprised to realize that it was a little kitten.  He told my friend and I that he had found it and couldn’t find the mother or any other kittens. He also said he couldn’t bring that kitten home and asked if we would take it. I said I would. I remember that pretty distinctly because I saw kindness and compassion in this kid that normally showed neither.

I brought the kitten home and we fed her milk with an eye dropper.  Since she had not spent enough time with her mother she liked to suckle an earlobe when someone was holding her.  My brother named her Cauli-fifi because he was into making up fun sounding words. Sadly, after several months my father’s allergies were so terribly aggravated by her presence in our home that we couldn’t keep her.  My mother was able to list her with a great rescue organization, they connected her with a very nice man who took her, loved her and even let her suckle his earlobes.

Ceramic Kitty by Lori Buff
Ceramic Kitty
This little ceramic kitty was my attempt at replicating her in my Junior High School art class. She was a sweet kitty and I have always been glad that she brought out the kindness in people.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff


  1. What a great story of a fond memory, complete with your own craft that connects to the triple loves demonstrated.

  2. You got ceramics in Junior High?!? We didn't even have an art class! I did get Home Econ where I learned to make an apron and cook biscuits, very useful for a 13 year old, ha!

    1. We did get to play with clay in our Junior High art classes, and even in elementary school. We were very fortunate kids. I’m sorry you didn’t have the same experience Tracey.

  3. My cat that lived to age 22 was adopted from Atlanta Humane Society. From the first time picking him up from his cage, he wrapped paws around my neck, and suckled on my ear lobe.

    How I miss him, which is selfish, he had a great life. Buried him in a gorgeous song bird meadow.

    Wonderful story about a kitten taming a bully. XO T

    1. It seems no matter how long we have had our pets we still miss them when they are gone. AHS is a great place to adopt an animal, I hope you’ve been able to adopt more.

  4. what a great story and a sweet sleeping kitty, animals can bring out the best in people for sure.

    1. You’re right Linda. That’s one of the reasons why they use prisoners to train service dogs. It’s brilliant.

  5. A heart warming story. Pets have such an impact on our lives.


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