[Clayart] Finally! Maybe a problem explained - Thanks for the information on water in kilns!

Vince Pitelka via Clayart clayart at lists.clayartworld.com
Wed Feb 11 18:31:58 EST 2015

Nan Rothwell wrote:
This kiln has always tended to make dark salt pots - e.g., too heavily reduced for my taste.  I have struggled to keep things light and bright. Now finally, thanks to the recent posts about water in kilns, I have a new understanding about what might be causing the over-reduction -- it's the water!  Or at least I am going to go with that as a working hypothesis and switch the way I introduce salt next time."

Hi Nan - 
I wonder about this, because we introduce soda into our soda kiln in aqueous solution and we do not get over-reduced surfaces or dark clay.  On the other hand, almost any iron-bearing claybody (even a buff stoneware) comes out very dark in our salt kiln with no intentional reduction. We introduce dampened rock salt.  So it does seem that salt-firing naturally produces much darker clay, and probably that introducing the salt or soda via water solution doesn't really make that much difference in amount of reduction or the color of the clay - after all, any reduction caused by the aqueous solution would just be a sudden and short-lived burst not inclined to have much impact.  But that's just my theory based on what I have experienced, and please do tell us the results of your experiments.
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft
Tennessee Tech University
vpitelka at dtccom.net   

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