Burning clay indoors in the stove or a fire barrel

Clay pottery has been burning humanity for more than a thousand years. Before the invention of furnaces, fireplaces were used to burn clay at home. A wood-burning stove or a fire barrel are still good and exciting options for raw and mixed firing today. Conventional stove temperatures are not enough.

Required temperatures

When clay is burnt, it will have a temperature of at least 800 and usually around a thousand degrees Celsius. Conventional cookers with maximum values ​​of up to 300 degrees do not apply. Those who can not afford or want a special kiln, have the opportunity to set up and use a fireplace.

Closed stoves generate sufficient temperatures depending on the fuel. The flames of a wood fire reach up to 1100 degrees, wood glow develops about 800 degrees. Coal briquettes deliver annealing temperatures up to 1300 degrees. Historically, the so-called open field fire, a kind of controlled campfire, was used. This possibility exists only if a large plot with a suitable fireplace is available.

Holding times and heat dosage

The biggest challenge is controlling the fire both in temperature and in time. In general, the raw or biscuit firing of clay is divided into five phases:

1. Remaining drying up to 140 degrees
2. Warm up to 600 degrees
3. Stir at 800 to 1000 degrees
4. Holding time at firing temperature (six to eight hours)
5. Cooling phase

In order to keep the phases in such a way that the clay is burned correctly, it is necessary to know about fuels with regard to burning behavior and temperature development.


When a wood-burning stove or a fire-barrel is fired, a kind of "straw-fire" has to deliver the first warm-up. Since this complete drying of the clay takes several hours, the fire must be kept artificially small. Huge is a suitable fire agent.

With a controlled import and refueling of firewood, the temperature can be increased slowly in further hours to 600 degrees. To reach the final holding temperature, wood or lignite briquettes are added. Care must be taken to ensure even ember development.

All in all, the raw or biscuit firing needs me about 18 hours of controlled fire and flame care and appropriately stocked fuel.

Tips & Tricks

For glazing clay you need temperatures of about 1200 degrees. Most stoves can not produce this height.

Artikelbild: De Repente / Shutterstock

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