Salt Firing Ceramics

Salt firing is a vapor-glazing process in which salt or, if we’re being fancy, sodium chloride is being added into the kiln when its extremely hot. This is an amazing technique that only requires a small change in the firing process, and the piece itself turns out completely different than the average ceramic bowl or vase. The salt vaporizes, and the sodium vapor combines with the silica that is in the clay, and it forms a sort of hard, sodium glaze. The colors of these vases can be a variety of colors ranging from blue (cobalt oxide), reddish-brown (iron oxide), or even purple (from manganese oxide). The texture and look of these pieces may be the most charming aspect, as it is said that the effect that the salt has on them is sort of like an “onion-peel” texture or an “orange-peel” texture. Just another example as how something so ordinary as table salt can transform a ceramic piece to make it look more abstract, colorful, and texturized.

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