The Otago Potters Group in Dunedin recently hosted a Salt and Soda Kiln Firing Workshop, the inaugural firings in their new kiln which was built in a previous workshop under the guidance of Duncan Shearer.
Liz Rowe writes “The 12 of us who took part in the recent workshop to learn how to fire our new outdoor kiln are still buzzing from the excitement of it.

The salt firing was first and yielded some great results. This despite some nervousness from our tutors, Duncan Shearer and Chris Southern, that first firings often aren’t that good. The soda firing went even better with some fabulous pots produced. It would be fair to say that we’re very keen to keep going with these firings so there’ll be opportunities for other club members to get involved and see the magic wrought by atmospheric firings. We will have a club night soon to show some of what was produced in each firing and talk through the logistics for those wanting to get involved.”

(left to right: The soda firing loaded, the soda firing opened, pots from the salt firing)
The kiln is named ‘Josephine’ after our long time friend and passionate supporter of ceramics, Josephine Waring, who passed away in Dunedin at the end of 2022. Many of you may remember Josephine and her contribution to NZSP/CANZ, amongst which she was editor of Clay News for many years. She was also a long time member of the Otago Potters Group and founding member of Stuart Street Potters Co-operative. Although not actively potting for some time, Josephine was looking forward to attending the firing workshop, so we felt it was apt to honor her in this way.
The Otago Potters Group Soda team have now completed their first firing unsupervised (but with Duncan and Chris providing moral support via telephone!) and have the next booked in for June.