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There are many different types of kilns and firing techniques, such as raku, wood firing and gas firing.
A particular kiln type can be suitable for more than one firing type.
In general we distinguish between two types of firing as oxidation or reduction.

Coil and slab built stoneware with layers of engobes and glazes, cone 6 oxidation firing.

Just what is an oxidation firing anyway?

In an oxidation firing, pottery and ceramic pieces are heated to a certain temperature.
The heated pottery and ceramics draw oxygen from the kiln chamber, from the flue, burner ports, spy holes and any other hole or crack in the kiln.
The oxygen combines with the carbon materials in the glazes and pottery and ceramic body, turning them into ash.
The metal pigments in glazes, such as iron, will oxidize, giving the glaze a particular color.

Oxidation firings can be done in most kilns, except those which are not designed for it, such as a black firing kiln, where sugar is introduced into the kiln which volatilizes and creates carbon, which is trapped in the clay body, creating a black surface.
To do an oxidation firing, leave the burner ports and any damper open, so enough air exchange can happen in the kiln.
In electric kilns, oxidation is normal.

Ok, now what is a reduction firing?
In a reduction firing, the oxygen supply to the kiln chamber is restricted, resulting in a saturation of free carbons in the kiln atmosphere, mostly in the form of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.
In a strong reduction firing, flames will lick out of the flue and through other openings or cracks in the kiln walls.
That is because the flame needs oxygen to burn, so it will try to get it from wherever it can.
The reduction cycle generally begins between 1600° - 1900° F or 900° - 1000° C.
Typical reduction glazes are copper reds and shinos.

Created in oxidation firing by layering glazes (we use electric kilns with sophisticated computerized controllers).

One does not grow old...one grows old by not growing.



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Have you ever come up with a good idea while working with your handmade pottery and thought that you would like to share it with others? You have? Well, why not send it to us and we will add it to the tips page for all to see.

Handmade pottery can be a very gratifying hobby that produces fun and satisfying results. For many people it's an enjoyable release that is created by working an inanimate mound of clay into a beautiful work of art that you made through your artistic abilities.

The best way of starting out is to take a few lessons from Youtube. You will probably waste quite a bit in materials when you first get started. Figuring out how to truly make handmade pottery correctly and shape into what you want it to be can be quite an ordeal. The different tools that a normal shop will have can be fun to try. You will soon see which ones you like to use the most and then when you are ready you will know which ones to buy.

With the help of the internet, you can now purchase most if not all of your ceramic and pottery tools and supplies online. We are located far from any well supplied dealers and yet working with reliable ceramic and pottery suppliers online has allowed us to recieve most of our orders within a timely manner.

When you get all set up, just enjoy the hobby and have fun at it. Some people get pretty serious and start selling their creations at craft fairs and small stores, but others just like to create items for themselves, relatives, and friends. Whichever kind of handmade pottery you desire to endeavor, enjoy the hobby and have fun doing it.

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