Hill Pottery


Two-day Soda Firing Workshop

July 6 and 7, 2024

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 discuss techniques and aesthetic choices related to the Soda Firing process. Sunday will include a mini hands-on workshop which will cover the techniques of coloured slip application onto leather hard clay, paper resist, carving, and scrafitto.

Cost of the two day workshop including Sunday mini hands-on is $350 – Saturday portion only, including firing is $250.

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 or 613-717-9072.


Two-day Soda Firing Workshop • July 6 and 7, 2024


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.


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: Hands-on mini workshop – 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: Hands-on mini workshop continues – 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.

Hill Pottery, c/o Dan Hill
danhill@hillpottery.com • Phone 613-717-9072
888 Wilno South Road • Wilno, ON K0J 2N0