Have you been wondering whether you can fire pottery in your home oven? Maybe you want to know if you can replicate a kiln with your oven? Or are you curious and want to know more?
Whatever the reason might be that brought you here, we have the answer for you!
Finding ways to fire your pottery at home can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a kiln. You can find yourself looking for creative ways to dry your pieces, and start to wonder if your oven could do the same job. After all, how different are they?
You head online to see if there is a way you can fire pottery in your oven, but are met with conflicting advice that only makes you more confused! What are you supposed to do now?
Well, you can listen to us! Today, we are here to tell you whether you can fire pottery in your home oven or not and answer any other questions you might have. Just keep reading to find out more!
You Can Fire Pottery In Your Home Oven
Let’s get straight into it! You can fire pottery in your home oven, but it isn’t going to be as hot as a kiln you would buy for your home studio or use at a pottery class.
Pottery dried in an oven at home isn’t going to be as hard and durable as pottery that has been dried in a super hot kiln, so the chances are it is more likely to break and won’t last as long.
If you are looking to use your home oven to dry pottery, then you will want to use a special oven-dry clay, rather than standard pottery clay.
Oven-dry clay is designed for the lower temperatures in your oven and should dry better here than standard pottery clay. You can purchase oven-dry clay online, or in some craft stores, just be sure to check that it is the correct clay for you!
Now that we have established that there is a way for you to fire pottery in your oven at home, let’s dive a little deeper and look at using your oven to dry clay.
Will Pottery Fired In My Home Oven Last?
Pottery dried in your oven will last! As we said earlier, they don’t tend to be as durable and strong as pottery fired in a kiln, but that doesn’t mean they won’t last.
You just need to take care when you are assembling your pottery and ensure that it is in the oven for the right amount of time.
When purchasing oven-dry clay, it will say on the packaging how long it needs in the oven and at what temperature it should be fired.
Be sure that you follow these instructions and care for your pottery properly to ensure that it stands the test of time, just like if it was fired in a kiln!
Caring For Oven Dried Pottery
To care for and maintain pottery dried in an oven, follow these tips below!
- Do not place your pottery in the microwave.
- Do not place your pottery in the dishwasher, instead, hand wash them.
- Only use a small amount of detergent to avoid staining the pottery. Don’t use any products that could stain it either.
- Take care not to droop or bump the pottery as you could chip, crack, or break it.
How To Fire Pottery In A Home Oven
If you want to try firing pottery in your home oven, then you need to follow the correct procedure to avoid it becoming brittle or breaking. Don’t panic, though, we have the steps you need listed below, so just keep reading!
Step 1 – Pre-Dry The Clay
To start, you will want to pre-dry your clay before it goes into the oven. Place any damp clay in a dry and warm spot for a full day before it goes in the oven.
You want your clay to feel dry to the touch before it goes in the oven, otherwise, it is not going to dry correctly.
If you put clay in the oven that is still damp, there is a chance it will crack while it is in the oven, ruining all your hard work! It is better to wait a little longer and only put dry clay in the oven than the risk of it being ruined.
Step 2 – Put Your Pottery In the Oven
Once dry, put your clay pottery in the center of the oven, with all sides clear to ensure that the hot air can flow around the piece easily. Make sure that your pottery is placed directly on the rack too.
Step 3 – Set The Temperature
You will want to set the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit unless otherwise directed on your clay packaging.
If your oven doesn’t reach this temperature, set it to its highest temperature and extend the time that it stays in the oven so that it can bake correctly. For ovens set to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, the clay must be in the oven for at least thirty minutes.
Step 4 – Leave It Cool
Once the pottery has been fired, leave it to cool for at least four hours. To do this, carefully remove it from the oven and leave the pottery on a heat-proof surface until it cools completely. Once it is cooled, it is ready to use!
Other Ways You Can Fire Pottery At Home
If you don’t want to use your oven or are looking for a more creative way to dry your pottery, then check out our alternative ways to fire pottery at home below!
Make A Kiln
A fun option is to make your own kiln! You will need to be careful when doing this, so be sure to follow the steps carefully.
Take an old metal bin, some refractory cement, propane gas, a burner, a ceramic fiber blanket, and a shelf. Cut a hole near the bottom of the bin where you can fit your burner into.
Take your ceramic fiber blanket and line the bin with it. Insert your shelf and place your pottery on it.
Then you will need to rig your propane and burner through the cut hole and light it up! You can expect your kiln to reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and fire your pottery quickly!
Just be careful and keep some water on hand in case you need to put the fire out.
Another option is to make a fire pit in your garden to fire your pottery. You will need to dig a hole in your garden and line it with cardboard if the soil is damp.
The hole needs to be big enough for your pottery and fuel, but far enough away from your home or any wildlife and burnable objects.
Fill your hole with sawdust and layer your pottery pieces on top. You can also add wood and paper if you want the fire to burn for longer. Light the fire on top and leave it to burn.
After an hour or so, you can cover the hole and the wood and sawdust will continue to burn and smolder. After 12 hours, the pit should be cool and you can carefully remove your pottery pieces.
And there you have it! You can use your home oven to fire pottery pieces, providing you have the right clay to do so! These pieces should last just as well as kiln-fired pottery providing that you care for them properly.
And don’t forget you can use other methods to fire your pottery at home, even if you don’t have a kiln!