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Glaze Chemistry

Remember, in high school chemistry class when you found yourself thinking, “when will I ever use this stuff in my life?” (unless, of course, you always dreamed of becoming a chemist). Well, once you have become hooked on pottery and ceramics, you will probably find yourself delving into glaze chemistry. Learning how different materials contribute to glazes and clay bodies is very important in expanding your abilities as a ceramic artist. So here we’ve gathered a bunch of articles and information on glaze chemistry to help you understand this incredibly complex and fascinating subject. 33 Tried and True Glaze Recipes, a perfect resource for potters and ceramic artists who are ready to experiment with custom glazes, or for those who have grown tired of their own tried and true glazes.


Video of the Week: How to Do a Triaxial Blend to Test Pottery Glazes

Posted On September 18, 2015 6 Comments

A triaxial blend is an excellent tool for learning about glazes and materials but if you’re new to glaze testing, just the words “triaxial blend” might give you pause.
Never fear! John Britt is here to demystify the triaxial blend in today’s video post. In this clip John clearly explains how a triaxial blend is set up and shows a fired example of a triaxial blend with stains, which nails the point home. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


Line Blends: A Surefire Way to Build Your Understanding of Ceramic Glaze Materials

Posted On July 22, 2015 4 Comments

Let’s face it. We’ve all had glaze disasters in the kiln. From the mild disappointment of a glaze not turning out exactly the color you were hoping for to a glaze completely running off a piece and ruining a kiln shelf. That’s why it is so important to test our glazes. Line blends are a pretty simple and straightforward way of testing glazes that can yield a wealth of information. In today’s post, an excerpt from Developing Glazes, Greg Daly explains how to do a couple of line blends and shares some recipes you can try. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


Guidelines for Using Commercial Stains in Glazes

Posted On June 17, 2015 0 Comments

It’s really pretty hard to find a bad thing to say about commercial stains. They produce brilliant colors, are safe to use, and are very reliable. I suppose the only negative is that they can be pricey, but that priciness can be made up for in time savings and predictability. In today’s post, an excerpt from Electric Kiln Ceramics, Frederick Bartolovic and Richard Zakin give some guidelines for using commercial stains in studio-made glazes. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


Time to Warm Up! 5 Red and Orange Glaze Recipes

Posted On May 4, 2015 6 Comments

After a long brutal winter, spring is hopefully here to stay. So to go with the warming temperatures, I thought I would share some recipes for warm colored glazes. Today, in an excerpt from her book Colour in Glazes, Linda Bloomfield shares some glaze recipes for lovely red and orange hues.- Jennifer Harnetty, editor.



Glazed and Confused? How to Mix a Color Blend and Interpret the Results

Posted On January 9, 2015 8 Comments

Last summer we traveled to the lovely Bakersville, North Carolina, studio of John Britt to tap into his vast knowledge of glaze chemistry for a glazing DVD. I am super stoked to announce its release today! And, I may be a bit biased, but I think it will be a fabulous resource for anyone who wants to delve deeper into glazing, but finds the subject too intimidating.


In today’s video, I am sharing a clip (and a recipe) from it. In this (much condensed) clip, John shares his simple system for mixing up a color blend and tells us what to make of the results. Have a look and then mix up your own color blend and see what you get. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


New Glaze Recipe Database Makes it Easy to Organize Your Recipes!

Posted On October 1, 2014 0 Comments

I have to admit, I am somewhat organizationally challenged. It’s not that I don’t love being organized, it’s that sometimes I can’t keep up…yeah, that’s it. I’ll blame it on being busy!


This carries over into my studio way more than I would like. Again because of the limited time I get to spend there. I’d much rather make work than spend time organizing! So things aren’t set up in the most efficient way, glaze recipes and notes are scattered amongst various sketchbooks and scraps of paper. You get the picture.


So I am extremely excited by our latest development here at CAD – – not just because it is the beautiful result of lots of hard work by our team, but also because I am sincerely excited to use it! In addition to containing tons of glaze recipes that you can search in a number of intuitive ways, the site also has tools that will help you have organized access to your favorite glaze recipes wherever you are (it looks great on a phone!).


In today’s post, I thought I would share a couple of our video tours of to show how useful it really is. Plus I’m including a glaze recipe I found on the site that looks pretty cool! Enjoy, and I hope you find it helpful in your studio. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


A Super Simple Analogy to Help You Understand Glaze Structure

Posted On September 5, 2014 17 Comments

Ceramic glazes consist of three main components: glass formers, fluxes, and refractories. If you can remember those, and familiarize yourself with the characteristics of the common ceramic raw materials, you are in good shape to start developing your own successfulglazes. For today’s video, I thought I would share John Britt’s simple glaze component analogy. It is a great way to remember how the three glaze components function in a glaze. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


Introducing the Newest Member of the CAD Family – Ceramic Recipes Website

Posted On September 4, 2014 2 Comments

We are super excited to share our new baby:, an online database for all of your recipes, whether you have your own or have yet to discover them. With smart phones and tablets as ubiquitous as they have become, we thought it was about time to create an online system for organizing, sharing, storing, and discovering glazes. So get ready to move your recipe collection from scraps of paper or three-ring binders to a gorgeous web platform, where you can access them ANYWHERE!!

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5 Tips for Making the Most of Ceramic Glaze Testing

Posted On August 6, 2014 2 Comments

The best way to learn about ceramic glazes and glaze materials is to test them. By studying what happens when varying amounts of various ingredients are combined in a glaze and then fired to various temperatures, you start to understand how materials affect each other, and therefore how to troubleshoot when your results are not what you wanted. But it can be intimidating to delve into glaze chemistry. It is extremely complex, and includes the word ‘chemistry’ in its name, which to some (me included) is an immediate red flag. So in today’s post, Greg Daly gives five excellent tips for getting the most out of glaze testing. Read on, and then get out there and test!


Glaze Recipes From Two of Ceramics Monthly’s 2014 Emerging Artists

Posted On May 5, 2014 0 Comments

The May 2014 issue of Ceramics Monthly is out, and with it the ever popular Emerging Artists feature. 2014’s crop of artists includes 14 potters and sculptors. In today’s post, several of them share the glaze recipes they use to make their fresh and interesting work.-Jennifer Harnetty, editor.