Pottery FAQs

How Long Does Pottery Take To Fire?

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How Long Does Pottery Take To Fire?

How long does it take to fire pottery?

The total time required to fire pottery typically ranges from 20 to 24 hours, including two main stages: bisque firing, which takes about 8-10 hours, and glaze firing, which takes around 12 hours. These times vary based on kiln type, pottery thickness, and preheating requirements.

Firing pottery is an integral part of ceramic-making, combining art and science. In the firing stage, clay transforms into a permanent form, capturing the artist’s skill and vision in a lasting medium. The timing of this process varies significantly based on several factors, such as the type of clay, the size and design of the pieces, and the kind of kiln used. On average, you can expect the firing process alone to take around 22 hours. But the journey from a lump of clay to a finished product is even more time-consuming, often taking up to three and a half weeks.

How Long to Fire Pottery?

The firing duration for pottery can vary widely depending on the type of clay, the kiln’s efficiency, and the desired end product. Generally, a bisque firing can take around 8 to 12 hours, while a glaze firing might last 6 to 8 hours. Always consult the guidelines specific to your clay and kiln for precise timings.

Additional resources:

How Long to Fire Clay? How Long Does It Take to Fire Clay?

Firing clay typically takes 6 to 12 hours, depending on the type of clay and the kiln used. Earthenware may take less time, while stoneware and porcelain often require longer firing periods.

How Long Do You Fire Pottery? How Long Does Pottery Take?

The time needed to fire pottery can range from 6 to 12 hours, depending on factors like clay type, kiln efficiency, and firing temperature. Bisque firings generally take longer, while glaze firings are often quicker.

How Long Does It Take to Glaze Fire Pottery? How Long Does Glaze Firing Take?

Glaze firing usually takes between 6 to 8 hours. The process is generally quicker than bisque firing because the glazed pottery has already undergone an initial firing and does not contain moisture.

How Long Does a Kiln Take to Fire?

A kiln takes approximately 6 to 12 hours to fire pottery, though the exact timing can vary depending on the kiln’s size, efficiency, and the type of pottery being fired.

How Long Does It Take to Bisque Fire? How Long Does Bisque Firing Take?

Bisque firing, the initial firing process to harden clay into bisque pottery, generally takes around 8 to 12 hours. This time allows for the slow water evaporation from the clay, reducing the risk of cracking.

How Long Does It Take to Fire Ceramics?

Firing ceramic pottery usually requires between 6 to 12 hours, depending on the type of ceramic, the kiln used, and the specific firing technique. Always refer to manufacturer guidelines for precise timings.

Stages of Firing: Bisque and Glaze

The firing process involves two main stages: bisque firing and glaze firing.

  1. Bisque Firing: The first firing, known as bisque firing, typically takes between 8 to 10 hours. Its purpose is to remove all the water from the clay, turning it into a porous yet complex material ready for glazing.

  2. Glaze Firing: After applying a glaze, the pottery undergoes a second firing round. This stage usually takes about 12 hours and turns the glaze into a glassy, colorful, and glossy coating that gives the pottery its final appearance.

These two stages are integral to the process, and skipping either could result in flawed or fragile pottery.

The Complete Journey: From Clay to Ceramic

If you’re a beginner or even an experienced potter who likes to plan, it’s essential to consider the entire timeline of creating a ceramic piece. Starting with a fresh lump of clay, the journey can take up to three and a half weeks. This includes:

  • Designing and molding the clay: 1-2 days
  • Initial drying: 2-7 days, depending on size and thickness
  • Bisque firing: 8-10 hours
  • Glaze application: 1 day
  • Glaze drying: 1-2 days
  • Glaze firing: 12 hours

This timeline can vary based on many factors, such as the complexity of the design and the specific drying and firing schedules you follow.

Pre-Firing Preparations: Drying and More

Preparing your pieces adequately is crucial before you can start firing your pottery. One crucial step is to dry the pottery for 8-12 hours at a controlled temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit (82 degrees Celsius). Drying at this specific temperature ensures that the moisture content is adequately reduced, minimizing the chances of cracking or exploding during the firing process.

Variables Affecting Firing Time

The time it takes to fire pottery can vary based on a multitude of factors:

  • Kiln Type: The kiln’s size, age, and type can significantly impact firing time.
  • Temperature Phases: For manual kilns, a low temperature is often maintained for 2 hours, followed by a medium temperature for 2 hours.
  • Preheating: It’s advisable to preheat the kiln for 2 hours for the best results.
  • Thickness of the pottery: Thicker walls might require additional time for uniform heating.

Additional Considerations for Different Kilns

If you are using a small gas kiln, remember to prop the lid open by about three inches and start with a low flame before gradually increasing the heat. This approach is essential to prevent thermal shock, which could crack or break your pottery pieces.

Planning and Patience are Key

Creating pottery is a fulfilling but time-consuming activity that requires meticulous planning, especially regarding firing. Understanding the various factors and stages influencing how long it takes to fire pottery will make the process more manageable and rewarding.


I hope this post provides a comprehensive understanding of the time involved in firing pottery, catering to newcomers and seasoned potters alike.


  1. The Pottery Wheel – How Long Does It Take to Fire Clay
  2. The Spruce Crafts – How Long Does Pottery Take
  3. The Pottery Wheel – How Long Does a Bisque Firing Take
  4. Pottery Crafters – How Long Pottery Should Dry Before Firing
  5. Skutt – Kiln Resources
Linda from Pottery FAQs

I'm Linda, a dedicated potter, and for over ten years, I've been shaping unique and useful pottery pieces. My journey with pottery started unexpectedly in college, when I decided to take a pottery class. It was then that I discovered my deep love for turning clay into beautiful forms. Since that pivotal moment, I've been tirelessly sharpening my skills, engaging in self-learning, and frequently attending classes and workshops under the guidance of renowned pottery masters.

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