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Pottery/Salt or Soda Firing


I am new to pottery and someone had what they said was called ArtSalt but never told me what I could do with it could you please tell me anything about it I use an Electic Kiln if that makes a differents


JC Shillinglaw

Dear JC,

    Thank you for your recent question. What your friend is referring to is Salt or Soda Firing. The result is a beautiful blue, green or red mottled surface.

    This type of firing is performed primarily in a wood or gas kiln environment because the process involves blowing or introducing sodium chloride into an actively firing kiln. The salt evaporates and the sodium combines with the silica on the surface of the pottery to create sodium silicate, a very hard mottled glaze.

    During the firing process, when the kiln reaches 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, sodium chloride is introduced into the kiln at either the firebox or peephole. It is a dangerous process because sodium vapors are extremely toxic. However, if performed properly and with the necessary ventilation and safety equipment, salt firings can be very exciting and produce wonderful works of art.

    The process is never performed in an electric kiln due to the damage the sodium does to the elements. Using salt in an electric kiln will damage the elements in such a way that they will not reach temperature in the future, let alone the damage done to the kiln brick. Think of the salt process as blowing glaze materials throughout the kiln while it is firing. Sodium chloride is a glaze material.

    Furthermore, when choosing to do salt firings, a kiln specifically built for the firings is usually chosen so that the process does not affect future firings. Lastly, salt firings are hard on the kiln brick surfaces. Therefore, kilns used for salt firing have about 1/2 the firing life as those used for glaze only.

    I hope this answers your question. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me at any time. I am always at your service.

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


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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.

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