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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…

Morphing Pot

The original idea of this piece was to make a pitcher with an added spout. I've done this in the past and have made some really fun pitchers. But when I put the spout piece on the body in order to figure out how to cut it the pot seemed to want to be a vase.

Who am I to make these decisions?  The clay can figure this stuff out for itself.

Pottery vase in progress by Lori Buff
Vase in Progress

I'm not sure I'm going to leave it this way. What do you think?

This is what happens when you're an artist. You start down one road then, something pulls you in another direction. Sometimes it is right to follow that direction, sometimes not. Thankfully, with clay, you can add or remove components pretty easily compared to something like marble sculpting. And if the whole idea fails I can always recycle the clay if I haven't yet fired it.


  1. I don't think I would change it. I think it will look terrific with tall flowers in it.

    1. Thank you. I think I’ll take your advice.

  2. I like your new background, very dramatic. I intentionally made a vase like that out of a porcelain that I was trying...testing basically to see if I wanted to use the more expensive stuff. And since it didn't want to pull up as tall as what I usually use, I did this trick on purpose. Now I want to see what your pitchers look like...I bet they're amazing!

    1. Thanks Barbara, I will defiantly be making more of the 3 piece pitchers so stay tuned.


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