Soda Firing Workshop with Denny McLaughlin


Sunday, June 30, 2019 (All day)

Presented by: Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at Harvard

A glimpse inside a soda kilnIn 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.

Workshop Schedule:

Orientation: Sunday, June 30th, 1 – 3pm
Loading: Sunday, June 28, 1pm-3pm; Wednesday, July 31 , 3pm-5pm: and Thursday, August 1, 3pm-5pm (each student will sign up for one, 2-hour slot that fits your schedule at the Orientation)
Firing: Friday, August 8th , approximately 6am–8pm
Unload: Sunday July 21st, 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 summer 2019 course at the Ceramics Program, Office to the Arts at Harvard. Cost: $50. Free for Harvard Undergrads. Registration opens April 17 here. To read more about our courses, go here.