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The 6 steps of creating functional & decorative stoneware pottery
ThrowingApplying Surface DecorationTrimmingBisque FiringGlazingFinal Firing

Free Temperature Chart

Download the Cone Temp .PDF that contains temperature equivalents for pyrometric cones 022-14.

I use cone 07 for my bisque firings.

4. Bisque Firing

Each piece of stoneware goes through two distinct “firings” - a bisque firing and a glaze firing. The bisque firing is conducted at a lower temperature and takes place in an electric kiln. The basic flow of the process is as follows:

  1. Freshly trimmed pots are allowed to dry completely prior to firing in order to avoid cracking.
  2. Dried pieces are grouped together by height.
  3. Support posts of the appropriate height (a fraction taller than the pots themselves) are placed inside the kiln.
  4. Pots are placed in the kiln around the supports.
  5. A shelf is placed on top of the supports creating a fresh “layer” to build upon. Steps 2-5 are repeated until the kiln is full.
  6. The actual firing process for a bisque is pretty simple - it’s essentially no different than baking something in your oven - set the time and the temp and let ‘er rip. (note: you should use witness cones atleast every other firing to make sure the kiln is calibrated properly.)

Typical temps for a bisque firing are about 1750 degrees (cone 07). Typical timeline is about 18 hours from start to finish.

Electric Kiln

A close-up of the electric kiln that is used in the pbapottery studio. This kiln is used exclusively for bisque firings.

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