Soda Firing Workshop with Denny McLaughlin - Spring 2022

soda fired kiln filled with potteryIn this intensive, multi-session workshop, students will first attend an orientation session with instructor Denny McLaughlin where an overview of soda firing will be provided, as well as instruction on preparing the ceramic surface for this unique kind of firings with specialized slips for green-ware and glazes for bisque-ware. At the orientation, students will sign up for one 2-hour slot to experience preparing and loading work into the kiln. On the actual firing day, all students are invited to attend all, or part, of the firing. Finally, students will be expected to attend the unloading of the kiln to see the results and participate in clean-up of the kiln. Note: this workshop is open those currently enrolled in a Spring 2022 Ceramics Program course.


Workshop Schedule

Sunday, February 27, 2022, 1pm-3pm

Sunday, March 13th, 1pm-3pm
Wednesday, March 16th, 4pm-6pm
Thursday, March 17th, 4pm-6pm

Friday, March 18th, 5:30am-5pm (spray 3:30-4pm)

Unload & Cleanup:
Sunday, March 20th, 12pm-3pm

What makes Soda firing so different?

Soda firing is similar to the cone 10 reduction firing, but with these differences. 

  • The outside of the piece does not need to be glazed since the soda affect will create a finished surface without glazing.
  • The soda ash will create more melting with a glaze on the outside surface, which will make some glazes more fluid causing them to run if the glaze is applied too thick.
  • Not all high fire reduction glazes are suitable for soda firing.
  • Since the bottoms of pieces fired in the soda kiln are wadded with a mixture of clay and alumina hydrate, more space needs to be left between the lower edge of the outside glazed area and the bottom of the piece.
  • It’s a requirement to participate in either the loading or unloading and cleanup of the soda kiln if work is fired in the soda kiln.

Registration for this workshop is limited to those who are registered for a Spring 2022 course at the Ceramics Program, Office to the Arts at Harvard. Cost: $50. Free for Harvard Undergrads.