Firing Carbon Trap Glazes

Firing Shino Carbon Trap Glazes in a Bailey Downdraft Gas Kiln

Bailey Gas Kilns, front loading or shuttle, are ideal for firing Shino Carbon Trap glazes. Because firing carbon trap glazes creates excess carbon in the combustion process, Bailey Gas Kilns are designed with a very efficient fume removal system, including collection hoods over the top of the kiln (over lapping the door seams), over the spy ports, over the burner ports, and the chimney exhaust. It is important to have a properly ventilated kiln room when firing Shino Carbon Trap glazes.

Adjustments are made in the Bailey forced air burners to reduce the air to gas ratio during early reduction stages to produce free carbon in the chamber. When performing a carbon trap firing, the carbon created by the low air to gas ratio will be sealed into the glaze by the soda in the glaze formula.

Why Bailey forced air downdraft gas kilns are ideal for firing "carbon trap" glazes.

Bailey gas kilns are ideal for firing Shino carbon trap glazes.  Because Bailey kilns have  low velocity forced air burners,  you have the added advantage of circulating the carbon throughout the stack.  You also have greater control throttling back the air at the burners to determine how much carbon you want to create. 

Bailey can assist any of our customers wanting to know more about the process, and how to create the atmospheres for the best results.

malcolm davis firing shino carbon trap glazes"Shino Man"

The late Malcolm Davis, known as "Shino Man",  worked exclusively with Shino carbon traps  He is arguably the most famous devotee of the unique carbon trapping firing process, and he was also very generous with his firing techniques and his glaze recipes. He conducted Shino workshops throughout the world.  Just about every college glaze room in the country has a bucket or two of his famous carbon trap glazes.  

Malcolm had owned two Bailey gas kilns.  His first was a Bailey 18/12 front loader purchased in the mid 1980s. Sadly, he lost his studio in West Virgina to an electrical fire.  The only equipment left standing from that fire was his Bailey gas kiln.  Malcolm gave us a call to see if it could be salvaged.  After reviewing the photos he provided, the frame was in good shape, but the burner system was totally destroyed.  So we supplied a new burner outfit, and Malcolm scraped, sanded and repainted his old Bailey.  Soon it was back in business producing more wonderful Shino carbon trap pieces.  Later in his  career, he replaced his 18/12 for a larger 28/18 shuttle kiln.

shino carbon trap firing 

Lou Raye Nichol

"My work focuses on carbon trapped porcelain. When I first saw the accidental results it produces, I was enthralled. There is a magic in opening a kiln full of surprises. The beauty of the effects created by this method can be breathtaking. Their unpredictability can be humbling – pots that I thought of as throw-away have turned out to be the most successful. I had to change the way I make pots  because of the complexity of the glazes. With Shino Carbon Trap glazes, I am always pushing to see how much is too much.

"I chose a Bailey gas kiln because it was highly recommended at the shino carbon trap workshops I had attended.  Our teacher was Malcolm Davis, and he fired all his shinos in a Bailey. I had never fired a gas kiln on my own when I started, so this was a great leap for me."

Lou Raye fires her Shino Carbon Trap glazes in a Bailey Studio DLX 18/12 Shuttle Kiln.