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how to fire clay

hi

i have been trying to make a clay membrane at home ( similar to kitchen tile ).
i have used clay from art store and home depot without any success.

after making a plate  of various ticknesses , i dry the plate for a few days but when i try to heat it it will breaks down , makes a popping sound and chips off.

any suggestions ?

thanks
Michael

It sounds like there may be air pockets in your plates. Back in the Dark Ages when I took a pottery class, we had to knead the clay to make sure all of the air was out.

The other possibility is that it is not dry enough. In addition to complete air-drying, clay is usually fired in two steps. The first baking gives you greenware and the second baking (at a higher temperature) gives you the finished piece.