Upwey Potters Soda Firing Number 31

July 2005

The Upwey Potters are a group of ceramic artists who live & work in Upwey, Dorset, England, making and selling their work and running Workshops.

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This page gives images of Bill's pots from the 31st soda kiln firing


This was the third firing that Bill did "Raw", that is without biscuit firing the ware beforehand. Some pots had no glaze applied at all, some had glazes applied to the insides and rims of the pots when still damp - "leather hard".
The beakers and urns were based on Bronze Age shapes.

The batch of Beakers were inspired by ancient drinking vessels, with strips of decoration applied by repeatedly pushing a comb into the damp surface. Bill refers to these as "Fusion Ware", as they combine the techniques of several cultures!

Firing 31 was a heavily reduced firing, with the damper pushed further in at times to restrict the updraught and so introduce partially burnt gas into the chamber, that sought out the oxygen in the iron within the clay body and glaze and turned it pleasingly darker.

The soda was sprayed quite heavily - especially into the urns, which had beakers placed inside them. This resulted in a good coating of soda glaze and showed that glaze is not necessary if the spray reaches into the pots. The surfaces remain slightly rough, but are adequate for "ritual" pottery!

The first view of firing No 31

A close up of an urn and the pyro-cones, which bend to show the correct temperature has been reached.
A beaker, sitting on pads of alumina/clay to stop it sticking to the shelf. More authentically sea shells are used, packed with clay.

A good view into the kiln, showing beakers inside urns. The central beaker has Tenmoku glaze inside.

A collection of beakers unpacked.

Some of the urns, showing changes in colour from being placed in parts of the kiln where the soda and reducing flames reach with different intensities.

Close up of a zig-zag beaker, with a lower belly!

Another beaker with a lovely shine

A side view, showing the range of shapes

Follow this link to Bill's Pages about Bronze Age Ware

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