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Firing Terra Cotta Clay on a Gas Grill

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#1 Olla



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Posted 03 October 2012 - 12:43 PM

Is it possible to fire terra cotta clay on a gas grill? I read some posts about using a charcoal grill to fire clay and thought that a gas grill might work, but after leaving it on the grill for an hour and cooling overnight, the clay still dissolves in water. I am interested in making ollas or pitchers buried in the ground with just the opening spout showing at the ground level for irrigation purposes. The clay needs to be waterproof, able to hold water, but porous so that the water seeps into the soil slowly as plants have need for water.

#2 neilestrick


    Neil Estrick

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 12:50 PM

In order for clay to become 'permanent', able to get wet without slaking down, it must be fired to at least 1100F degrees, preferably even hotter to make it durable. This can be accomplished with a charcoal grill, but a gas grill won't do it. The charcoal grill method can result in a pretty high loss rate if you go too fast.

Neil Estrick
Kiln Repair Tech
L&L Kilns Distributor
Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC


#3 Marcia Selsor

Marcia Selsor

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 03:17 AM

To fire terra cotta to a vitrified maturity is should go to ^1 or 3 depending on the terra cotta.
You won't stabilize the clay body on a grill.
Marcia Selsor, Professor Emerita,Montana State University-Billings

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