I have been taking a class at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center for the last 2 months. The focus was on throwing and firing the soda kiln. I won't go into the class...just not what I had been expecting when I signed up. But we did unload the last firing last night, and I FINALLY got some good results.
The picture above is the ceramics director at Callanwolde, Glenn Dair, unloading the kiln. A soda kiln is much different then an electric kiln (which is what I use.) It is fired with gas and creates a different atmosphere within the kiln. At the right temperature, a baking soda/water/soda ash mixture is sprayed into the kiln. The soda then vaporizes and travels through the kiln. The resulting alkaline atmosphere creates some great glaze variation. Check out my favorite teabowl: