Hill Pottery


Two-day Soda Firing Workshop

August 19 and 20, 2023

This workshop hosted by Potter Dan Hill will focus on how the movement of flame and Soda-vapour in the atmospheric kiln can be used to enhance clay, slip and glazed surfaces and breathe life into your pots.

Workshop group size will be 8 to 12 participants. Each participant will bring 8 to 10 bisque-fired pots of various sizes for the firings. The clay bodies used should be ^6 stoneware (low iron body) or porcelain. Dan uses mid-white stoneware and 6–50 porcelain from Tuckers and 910 porcelain from PSH to good effect.

The workshop will include glazing and decorating of your pieces, strategic placement in the Soda kiln, firing and the introduction of Soda into the kiln. Dan will demonstrate some techniques and discuss the aesthetic choices particular to the Soda firing process.

Cost for two-day Soda Firing Workshop is $300 total.

Dan’s studio/showroom is located near the picturesque village of Wilno, nestled in the hills of the beautiful Madawaska Valley. The Wilno area has excellent restaurants, B&Bs, guest houses and motels as well as two galleries. The Madawaska Valley is known for its vibrant artistic community and many opportunities for outdoor adventures. Wilno is located two hours west of Ottawa on Hwy 60 and two hours and 15 minutes north of Peterborough, near Barry’s Bay.

For a complete workshop itinerary and other info, please contact Dan Hill: danhill@hillpottery.com, 613-756-9283 or cell 613-717-9072.


Two-day Soda Firing Workshop • August 19 and 20, 2023


9:00 am to 10 am: Dan will introduce the process and aesthetics of Soda glazing, followed by discussions about and ideas for glazing and decorating of your pots. Dan will give an overview of the studio slips and glazes to be used.

10:00 am to 12:00 noon: Decorate and glaze your pots.

12:00 to 1:00 pm: Lunch break. Please bring your lunch for Saturday. Tea, coffee, juice and water provided.

1:00 pm to 1:30 pm: A discussion about the strategic placement of certain glazes in the kiln. Talk about wadding of the pots, kiln shelf placement and stability.

1:30 pm to 4:30 pm: Finish glazing, wadding, prep shelves and posts. Loading of the Large Downdraft Soda Kiln.

4:30 to 5:00 pm: Close up the kiln. Lighting of the pilot burners on the downdraft kiln and discuss the safety systems for gas firing.
Saturday evening: A group dinner at a local restaurant may be organized if there is group interest. The nearby Wilno Tavern is famous for its Polish buffet.


The downdraft kiln will be preheated overnight and Dan will turn it up starting at 6:00 am.

9:30 am: Arrive at Hill Pottery. The downdraft kiln will be at about ^08, (980 Celsius), at which time Dan will set the burners for a reduction atmosphere, and explain the reduction process.

10:00 to 12:00 noon: Monitoring of the firing process, discussion of the options for kiln building and gas firing. Logistics and location considerations, sources and options for burners and gas hookup will be discussed. Dan will demonstrate some techniques related to the soda firing process based what the participants are interested in and as time allows.

12:00 to 1:30 pm: Lunch break. This is a good opportunity to take in the restaurants and galleries in Wilno and Barry’s Bay. Good food, fine art and craft.

1:30 to 4:00 pm: When the kiln has reached ^5 the first batch of Soda solution will be sprayed into the kiln. After the second batch of Soda has been used and ^6 is down the kiln will be closed up and shut down. Day two is concluded.

Unloading of the downdraft kiln and packing up of the pots takes place Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning. Pick up at the studio can be later, at your convenience or shipping your finished pots to you can be arranged if necessary.

More information — Dan Hill: danhill@hillpottery.com, 613-756-9283 or cell 613-717-9072.