Can you bake pottery clay in the oven? (3 Methods)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question: can you bake pottery clay in the oven? We will discuss the procedure to allow pottery clay to bake in the oven and the benefits of using the oven over other conventional methods.

Can you bake pottery clay in the oven?

You can bake pottery clay in the oven. Baking pottery clay in the oven is a viable option for somebody who does not have access to a kiln. For a hobbyist, baking pottery clay in the oven is feasible, unlike a person who mass produces pottery clay and needs a system that is effective, quick, and hassle-free.

The salt dough is one of the pottery clays which can be baked in a domestic oven. However, you can not expect salt-dough to turn out as good as it would in a kiln. The low temperature of the oven can cause the end-product to be brittle.

For a beginner potter, the oven can bring tons of experience and open a world of opportunity before moving on to more sophisticated and specialized equipment. 

There is a cost for baking pottery clay in the oven, for a professional who requires precision and perfect results for the pottery clay as the pottery clay would not attain such a temperature that is required for glazing.

How to bake pottery clay in an oven?

Before you decide to bake pottery clay in the oven, opt for clay that can be fired at 120 Fahrenheit or lower. After you prepare your mold, bake the pottery clay in the oven at 120 Fahrenheit for around an hour. 

We recommend that you use a liner in your baking pan to prevent the clay from sticking to the oven. 

For thicker clay, bake the pottery clay for up to three hours. However, you must not exceed the time by three hours as over-firing can make the finished product either too hard or too brittle. 

After the pottery clay has done baking, use acrylic paint to embellish your product. However, glazing the pottery clay is out of the question, as the oven can not reach a high enough temperature to allow the glaze to dry. 

An even temperature is required to keep the glaze in place while the temperature does not even become high enough to let the pottery clay dry in the oven. 

Another thing to do is to pre-dry the clay before you put it in the oven and heat it at a high temperature.

What are the perks of using a kitchen oven to bake pottery clay?

For simple projects, using a kitchen oven to bake pottery clay would not present a fuss. 

  • The kitchen oven allows the pottery to dry out easily. If you are creating decorative pieces, hesitate no more to use your home oven.
  • It doesn’t cost you anything. You do not need any special equipment or invest any sort of money. If you have an oven, you have all the tools necessary to create a successful clay project.
  • It is safe. Firing methods can be a hazard, especially if you have young children or pets. Even if you don’t, safety can be at stake and you need to be cautious while handling.

How was the pottery clay conventionally prepared?

Pit Firing

In most pottery clay firing, fire is used to let the clay attain a sufficient temperature that helps to glaze and mature the clay. 


For pit firing, a hole is dug in the ground where it is well-ventilated yet away from strong gushes of wind. The fire is then ignited using wood chips, coal, or paper, while the temperature becomes above 980 Celsius and reaches as high as 1100 celsius.   

The pottery is then kept at high temperatures for around 12-24 hours until the desired result is obtained which can be either a natural look or a glazed finish. 

Raku Firing

Raku firing is used by experts as it is a tricky method that can be hard to get right. In Raku firing a biscuit fire or a rounded space allows high enough heat to accumulate and fire the pottery and bring it to a finish. 

In Raku firing, a barrel is used to place the pottery near to it and a temperature of around 800 is obtained. The barrel can take a long time to heat up and after the job is finished the pottery needs to be carefully removed and then plunged in an ice bath. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question: can you bake pottery clay in the oven? We discussed the procedure to allow pottery clay to bake in the oven and the benefits of using the oven over other conventional methods.

Citations

https://www.soulceramics.com/pages/firing-pottery-without-kiln#:~:text=Do%20not%20over%20fire%20the,become%20too%20hard%20and%20brittle.&text=There%20is%20little%20control%20over,sufficient%20to%20create%20glazed%20pottery.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.