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How to Single Fire Pottery

Single firing pottery is a technique where the pottery is fired only once, as opposed to the traditional two-firing method. This technique can save you so much time, energy, and money on your electricity bill. In this blog post, I will outline the steps to single fire pottery.

Step 1: Choose Your Clay -

The first step in single firing pottery is to choose the right type of clay. I only use mid-fire clay (cone 6). I make tableware and single fire everything. You may also want to experiment with your current clay. I suggest popping in a test piece to your actual glaze firing.

Step 2: Create Your Piece

Once you have chosen your clay, you can begin creating your pottery piece. Use your usual techniques to shape and mold the clay into the desired form. Be sure to let the clay dry completely before firing, as any moisture left in the clay can cause it to crack or explode during firing.

Step 3: Brush On Your Glaze

Once your pottery is bone dry, you can apply your glaze. I only brush on my glaze. If you dip your pottery into glaze, using glazing tongs, it will definitely break! You can use any type of glaze that is compatible with your clay and firing temperature. Apply the glaze as you normally do. You will need to allow it to dry completely before firing. depending on your climate, you can put a fan on the glaze pieces to dry out the moisture, or wait a day.

Step 4: Load Your Kiln

When your pottery is ready to be fired, carefully load the kiln. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for your kiln, including the recommended temperature and firing time for your clay and glaze.

Step 5: Fire Your Piece

Once your kiln is loaded, you can begin the firing process. Bring the temperature up slowly to avoid any cracking or warping in the clay. Once the kiln reaches the recommended temperature for your clay and glaze, hold it there for the recommended firing time.

Step 6: Remove Your Piece from the Kiln

Once the firing is complete, turn off the kiln and allow it to cool completely before opening. My rule is to open the kiln if it is 50 degrees or lower. Remove your pottery from the kiln and inspect it for any defects or imperfections. Keep a note book with results, type of clay and date fired.

Single firing pottery can be a great way to save time, energy and money on your electricity bill. By following these steps, you can experiment with single firing and find the technique that works best for you.

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Hi Jasmin,

All three colour choices you suggested are good. Dark brown also works well with speckled buff clay. nice and earthy. x


Mar 05, 2023

Thanks for the information, very useful, but can you also fire only once at cone 5 or medium fire?


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