You are here:

Pottery/Ware Stuck to Kiln Furniture or Stilts


Ceramics piece
Ceramics piece  

ceramics piece 2
ceramics piece 2  
I am new to the field of ceramics and while taking a class, I had several pieces stick to the little plates they were on top of(what are those called?) when they were fired. It seems that I didn't use enough wax on them and had the glaze on too thick. Is there any way I can remove the pieces from their little coasters? any tricks you can recommend? Thank you!

Dear Amanda,

    Thank you for your recent question. First, let me tell you that many novice potters have been in your situation, so don't feel too bad. I will give you some tips to prevent this problem in the future, but first lets cover your problem.

    From your photos it looks as though your pieces are stuck to the kiln furniture and not the stilts, unless the stilts are underneath and I can't see them. Before beginning, you will need a pair of goggles to protect your eyes. Next you will need a rubber mallet and a piece of egg crate foam. Hold the piece by the rim above the egg crate foam and using a rubber mallet, with a downward force, hit the the kiln furniture on the flat edge. Turn the piece and continue until the kiln furniture releases and drops onto the egg crate foam. It may take several tries to get the piece to release, but should work.

    If there is a stilt attached to the piece, turn the piece on its side and hit the stilt with the rubber mallet until it releases.

    With luck, there will be minimal damage to your piece. The next step will be to sand down the bottom of your piece. You will need a grinding disk to do this. Glaze is extremely hard and requires grinding to remove it. Wear your goggles to protect your eyes from the glaze dust. Place the bottom of the piece against the stone disk on the grinding machine and hold with firmness so that the piece doesn't slip. Grind until all extra glaze is removed from the bottom of the piece.

    In the future, wax will not prevent your piece from sticking to the kiln furniture or stilts. Wax melts and dissipates at a couple of hundred degrees, while your glaze must reach over several hundred degrees to mature. To prevent this from happening in the future, do not glaze your piece completely or all the way down to the bottom edge. Always leave at least 1/4" of unglazed areas at the very bottom edge of the piece. Do not glaze the bottom of the piece at all. If you must glaze the piece on the bottom, use stilts to set the piece on when loading the kiln. Never set a glazed piece on kiln furniture because some glazes do run a bit during firing and will cause the piece to stick.

    I hope this helps you. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me at any time. I am always at your service. Good luck!

Ms. Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Ti Phillips


Will answer any questions on hand building, wheel, glaze, firing. Speciality questions to include those in glaze calculation and development, firing techniques. Please do not send questions on identifying pottery. Although I would love to add this to my question topics, I have a retreat to run as well as the studio and volunteering on AllExperts, and therefore do not have the available time to research indentification and marks. Thank you for understanding.


Experience includes 30 years in pottery design and education. Have taught online and studio classes worldwide for the last 20 years. Own a pottery retreat specializing in firing techniques. Have 12 years solid experience in glaze calculation and formulation as well as problem solving in glaze chemistry. I am the first potter in the United States to have developed a complete package of pottery equipment blueprints for a studio. The blueprints include wheels, kilns, studio furniture, wedgeboards, raku kilns, slab rollers, ball mills and studio tools.

Alliance of Pottery Artists Worldwide Association

Ceramic Industry - PPP Wyndstryder Press - Pottery Journal

University of Sciences and Art's of Oklahoma, studied under Professor Jaymes Dudding.

Awards and Honors
Potter of the year with APAWA, various awards for showmanship and design.

Past/Present Clients
Available upon request.

©2016 All rights reserved.