How To Start Pottery Without Kiln

Lady making pottery

No kiln? No problem! When making pottery, one of the most important considerations is how to fire it. You can completely fire your pottery without using a kiln, and we'll go over how to do it, as well as several alternatives to a standard kiln and why it's important to know. It's not difficult to learn how to fire pottery without a kiln, and the technique isn't unduly extensive.  There are three major techniques to fire pottery without a kiln, and we'll show you how to use each and help you choose the best solution for you.


1. Raku Firing

Raku firing is a very old method of firing pottery, and it's a fantastic technique. To provide enough heat to fire the pottery to a sufficiently high temperature, raku firing requires a bisque or biscuit fire and a big pit area.


Outside or in a well-ventilated location is the best place to start a Raku fire. It must be a safe place to build a fire; Raku firing necessitates a bisque or biscuit fire. Most pottery undergoes a bisque firing before being burned again to melt and bond the glaze to the clay item. The pottery barrel must be near enough to the fire to attain temperatures of 760 to 980 degrees Celsius. It's pretty hot, so take precautions.

This eliminates the chance of damage to the pottery when using underglazes, stains, and other decorative techniques. Once the pottery has reached the proper temperatures, it must be removed with tongs and protective gloves and immediately immersed in cold water or sawdust to cool. After the glaze has cooled, clean it with a cleaner to eliminate the carbon. After that, you should let your product set for a few hours to completely dry before painting it.

The disadvantages of raku firing:

To get the desired final effects, this approach can be difficult to master and demands a lot of room. During raku firing, poisonous gases are released. The process is highly dangerous, so use it when no children are around.


2. Pit Firing

Pit firing, also known as smoke firing, was the first method for baking clay. It's fantastic for raw pottery, and it may also be used to fire pottery that has a glaze on it. Pit firing takes place in a hole or pit, as the name implies.


Pit firing, like Raku firing, needs a well-ventilated space away from other flammable objects. Temperatures typically range from 1,600 to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and your clay piece is left inside to dry for 12 to 24 hours. You may either fire the pottery first, then glaze it, or glaze it first, then fire it. It's also possible to glaze and fire the pottery at the same time. You'll need a location where you can keep the pit warm and safe. To shelter your pottery and safeguard it from severe winds. Remove the pottery from the pit using tongs after it has solidified. Allow it to dry naturally. You can also remove the pottery when the fire has died down.

The disadvantages of pit firing:

Pit firing has the disadvantage of being difficult to maintain uniformity. Other fire procedures may make the pottery more brittle.


3. Kitchen oven

this is the modern method of firing pottery as it helps the pottery dry rapidly. It's a simple approach to creating ornamental pieces only because food-safe glazes can be fried. A kitchen oven is an excellent introductory piece of equipment as it allows you to try out different ways before investing in a more advanced piece of equipment.


Because kitchen ovens are limited in their temperature range, it's better to utilize clay that can be fired at a low temperature of around 120 degrees Celsius. Preheat the oven and bake the final product for about an hour. Because baking time varies, thicker projects might take up to three hours to complete. If the material gets firm, your product is done in the oven.

Then, to embellish the things, you'll want to use acrylic paint. If you're using salt dough, you may color it before burning it. The pottery can't be glazed because the oven can't reach the temperatures needed to keep the glaze in place.

The disadvantages of Kitchen oven:

The main disadvantage of using a kitchen oven for glazing is that it does not achieve the needed temperatures.



There are several wonderful techniques to fire pottery without using a kiln. However, the best option for you will always rely on the amount of room you have and the type of craft pottery you want to make. To fire pottery at home, a lot of experimentation is required. This is mostly due to inconsistencies in the amount of heat produced. If you test a few approaches and still feel a kiln is the best option for you to fire glaze or make pottery at home, consider getting an electric solution.

How To Start Pottery Without Kiln