What speed should I glaze fire?

Glaze firing, the final stage of ceramic production, involves carefully controlled heating to mature and melt the glaze coatings on clay surfaces. The firing speed, or rate of temperature increase, during glaze firing plays a significant role in achieving successful results.

Considerations for Firing Speed

The appropriate firing speed depends on various factors:

  • Glaze Composition: Different glazes have distinct melting points and behaviors, affecting the firing speed.
  • Clay Type: The clay body and thickness influence how fast the kiln should be heated to prevent cracking.
  • Kiln Size: Larger kilns may require longer firing times to ensure even heating throughout the chamber.
  • Firing Goals: Consider whether you are aiming for a glossy or matte finish, and adjust the firing speed accordingly.

A general guideline for glaze firing speed is around 150 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (66 to 93 degrees Celsius) per hour, especially during the initial stages. Slower heating allows trapped moisture and gases to escape without causing stress on the clay and glaze.

Monitoring the Firing

Regardless of the firing speed, closely monitor the kiln throughout the firing process to ensure even temperature distribution and to prevent issues like cracking or warping.


Finding the optimal firing speed for glaze firing requires consideration of glaze composition, clay type, and desired outcomes. Experimentation and careful observation are essential to achieving consistent and successful glaze firing results.

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