Salt Glaze CourseBack Search


This specialist course is aimed at students with some previous experience.  The course is tailored to the need of each individual so, whether you are a professional or keen amateur, you should find the experience extremely rewarding.

Monday June 2
nd- Saturday June 14th 2014"

This year this course will be limited to three or four participants who will make their own work but also shadow Deborah during the making of her pots, application of slips/glazes, packing and firing the kiln.
The course can be taken as two consecutive weeks, dates as above, or by attending the March weekends or Easter course to get pots made and then joining in for the second week for the glazing, kiln packing and firing.
The cost including accommodation, breakfasts, lunches, Dinner on arrival and all materials for six medium sized pots is 700 per week. Extra pots to be fired will be charged at 6 per lb ( 450 grammes)"
Deborah says, "From my earliest awareness of pots I have been attracted to the warm golden browns and orange peel texture of salt glaze seen mostly on jars and old bottles in junk shops.  They were usually  very cheap and I bought them because I felt they needed a good home!  So in 1985 I fulfilled an ambition and built my first salt kiln."  


"When I finally achieved the alchemy that creates the glaze in the fire I felt like the sorcerer's apprentice with the book of spells.  Unfortunately, like him, I found that it wasn't that simple - but nothing in pottery ever is!  However, the buzz from unloading a kiln after a good firing is beyond compare.  So since 1986 I have held a specialised salt glaze course which includes making through to firing.  A physically exhausting two weeks, but well worth it when we unpack the kiln on the last day."


Since the 1980's salt glaze has become increasingly popular with studio potters.  The rich surface texture, warm colours, and capricious unpredictability of the technique make it a rewarding challenge.


Over the course we cover the entire process - from making to firing.

A good number of pots need to be completed by the end of the first week so that they can be biscuit fired in readiness for salt firing a few days later.


Both handbuilt and thrown pots can be made and decorated with a variety of coloured slips.  Salt glaze is particularly effective when used with sprig and relief decoration.  Deborah has a large collection of both modern and antique salt glaze which can be studied and provides a good source of ideas and a starting point for students' projects.


A maximum of three students are taken per course to ensure that each person receives plenty of attention.  Tuition is from Monday to Friday each week and is packed with demonstrations, discussions, and personal help.


The middle weekend is free for you to get out and about and visit local places of interest.  Colchester with its Roman remains and castle is only a short drive away.  As are Aldeburgh and Snape - famous for concerts and the music festival held every July.  (See Local Scenery)  However, if you wish to continue potting, the studio will be open and available at all hours during the weekend; as it will be throughout the course.


The second week concentrates on glazing, packing and firing the 27 cubic foot oil fired kiln.  The firing takes around 18 hours.  


To watch the temperature rise 'til the pots shimmer golden with heat, put in the salt and withdraw a shiny glowing test ring must be one of the most exciting experiences in ceramics.  We finish firing at 1300 C.  The kiln takes another 36 hours to cool down.  During this time we fire a wood fired Raku kiln (See Raku Evening).


Adding salt at 1200C


On Friday afternoon we unpack the salt kiln and marvel at the results of all our hard work.  Any pots made during the second week will be fired later.  Ten pots are included in the fee for the course.  Extra pots will be charged for by weight.


Salt kiln, packed, before firing Salt kiln, after firing


Accommodation and meals are to our usual high standard beginning with an excellent three course dinner on arrival plus bed, breakfast and delicious lunches during the week.  For more details see our week long course information.





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Last modified:September 29, 2017