Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Students build new soda kiln for Sylvania Campus’ ceramics yard

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Staff with Sylvania Campus’ Visual and Performing Arts Department fired up a new soda kiln, which was built by ceramics students. It took 75 hours to build and used nearly 2,000 bricks, most of which were reused from a previous furnace. The ceramics yard at Sylvania has undergone many changes in the past few years, with the addition of a new raku kiln that was completed in 2014 and a wood kiln that is under construction during the spring and summer terms.

The soda kiln is a special type of firing that heats up the the clay and once it has reached its peak temperature, around 2,381 degrees fahrenheit, soda ash is introduced and creates a glaze on the pieces. This type of firing helps students learn about how the heat interacts with the art and allows them to think about how to get the best look for their piece.

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