Keenan Watts is a potter, gardener, and notorious cat lady. Lori is the
creative force behind Fine Mess Pottery, and makes soda-fired stoneware
pottery at her Augusta, Maine studio. Her work is cheery and whimsical,
intended to bring joy to the every day rituals of making & serving
food & drink |
What is soda-fired pottery? I'm so glad you asked.
Soda firing is a type of stoneware firing wherein soda ash and baking soda are introduced to the flame when the kiln is nearly at its hottest. The heat of the firing splits the sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate (soda ash and baking soda, respectively) into their component elements, sodium and carbon. The flame carries this vapor into the firing chamber and onto the pots. The sodium interacts with the silica and calcium carbonate in the ware (as well any slips or glazes that have been applied to the ware) to form a layer of glass. It's fired to a very high temperature - between 2200 and 2400 degrees fahrenheit - so it's very durable.
The flame deposits the sodium more heavily wherever it strikes the ware directly, and more lightly on the lee sides of pots, making for a delightful irregularity. This can be observed whenever one side of a pot is very glassy and shiny, sometimes with the design softened or melted away entirely. In fact this is the great appeal of soda firing for many: it allows the flame to collaborate in the final result.
Soda firing is not for control freaks! But if you love spontaneity and uniqueness and surprises, if you can see beauty in irregularity, check out Fine Mess Pottery here.
You can also find Fine Mess Pottery at these locations:
Mainely Pottery, Belfast, Maine
Lisa-Marie's Made in Maine, Bath, Maine
Gifts at 136, Damariscotta, Maine
Bay View Company, Saco, Maine
Portland Pottery, Portland, Maine
Monkitree, Gardiner, Maine
Stripey Sugar & Creamer Set, $80
Dotopia Sugar Jar, $45
Blue Blossom Mug, $45
Squat Bottle, $38