Step into my studio space How do you do that? What is soda glazing? The magic of the flame Meet Holly Dubrasich Visit beautiful Willamette Valley Oregon

Soda Glazing

Glazing pottery with some form of sodium is an ancient technique. You may have seen blue and gray beer steins from Germany or the brown and tan bean pots of colonial America. Sodium in the soda and silica in the clay body form a thin, fluid glaze over the surface of the clay. Contemporary potters use sodium to achieve many decorative effects from heavy orange peel on stoneware to a mat orange blush of flame on porcelain.

It is the unpredictable nature of this method of firing and glazing that I find so exciting. Each load is different. This creates different patterns of circulation for the soda vapors to travel on through the kiln and around the pots. The endless possibilities and surprises presented by each load suggest new ideas for form and decoration. Magical!

 


When the kiln gets just under 2300 degrees, a soda and water solution is sprayed into the kiln through several access holes. When about half of the soda has been sprayed in, I will remove a draw ring to check on the soda build up. When I am satisfied with the draw rings and how the pots look through the spy holes the firing is finished up and gas turned off. Now I can hardly wait to open the door and see all the magic the soda performed -well worth the two day wait.

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