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What is a gas kiln used for?

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Quick Answer

A gas kiln is used to fire clay into hardened pieces of ceramic and pottery by melting the clay on a molecular level. Gas firing adds a unique dimension to glaze and clay bodies.

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Full Answer

Once a potter shapes the clay, he uses a kiln to heat and harden the clay. Once it is cool, he applies glaze, and puts the piece back into the kiln for the glaze to set. There are different types of kilns that produce different results. Using a gas kiln produces very low levels of pollution, and it is much more affordable compared to using an electric kiln. Propane or natural gas can be used to fuel this type of kiln.

Gas kilns are more useful for one-of-a-kind creations because it is often difficult to maintain consistency with this type of heat. Reduction heat does not allow oxygen in, so results can be unpredictable. Colors from a gas kiln are often in rich, earthy tones. This low heat also allows for experimentation with glazes such as crystalline firing, the process of bringing out the preformed crystals in the glaze and layering glazes, which results in geometric patterns on the surface of the pottery or art piece.

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