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Ceramic Firing Techniques

Soda Firing
The soda or vapor firing is similar to the salt firing, except that the salt is substituted with sodium carbonate (soda ash) or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). The sodium (bi)carbonate delivers the necessary sodium for glazing, but the effect is much weaker. Often the interiors of high walled pots do not glaze well, so extra glaze may need to be applied on the inside. But as carbon is additionally generated, instead of hydrochloric acid, this is an environmentally friendly alternative.

Electric Firing
The previous firings we have looked at have all been combustion firings. That is, they require a fuel, such as wood or gas to build up the necessary heat in the kiln chamber. The heat in electric kilns is generated electrically with the use of special coils built into the walls of the kiln. Electric kilns are most suitable to earthenware or midrange firings. Stoneware temperatures are possible, but the coils will deteriorate much faster. Mind you, they can be replaced (at a cost). Also, because there is no combustion in the electric firing, these are limited to oxidation firings. Reduction can be achieved by introducing combustible materials, e.g. twigs, into the kiln chamber towards the end of a firing (usually through the spy hole), but this will be at the expense of coil life.

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