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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.


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How to Correct Five Common Ceramic Glaze Defects

Posted On July 1, 2013 14 Comments

It is especially true in the ceramics world that one person’s fault is another person’s fancy – especially when it comes to glaze “defects.” Many ceramic artists deliberately create faults in their glaze surfaces to achieve a particular aesthetic. But, of course, there are some cases in which a glaze must be perfect for reasons of safety or hygiene. So just in case glaze defects are driving you “craze-y” (sorry, I just couldn’t “resist”), today Robin Hopper gives some expert pointers on how to solve five of the most common pottery glaze problems (such as crawling, shown at left). – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

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Testing Ceramic Glazes and Colorants to Expand Your Palette in Mid-Range Firing

Posted On May 27, 2013 10 Comments

Recently, Yoko Sekino Bove conducted extensive tests to determine how several base glazes do
with a wide variety of coloring oxides and carbonates. Today we are
sharing the results!

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

Posted On May 3, 2013 3 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.

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

Posted On February 20, 2013 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.

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Oil Spot and Hare’s Fur Glazes: Demystifying Classic Ceramic Glazes

Posted On January 14, 2013 4 Comments

Oil spot and hare’s fur glazes are beautiful and fascinating. In a nutshell, they are high-iron glazes that are applied in thick layers, which bubble up through one another and generate patterns ranging from metallic crystals to running streaks. These effects resemble, you guessed it, oil spots or the striated patterns in the fur of a rabbit. Of course, the explanation for how and why this happens is far more complex than that, but I’ll leave that to the experts. In today’s post, glaze expert John Britt explains the science behind these lovely glaze effects and shares a number of oil spot and hare’s fur glaze recipes.


Handbuilt porcelain bud vases by Jessica Knapp. Clockwise from the top: Orchard Purple, Base Glaze (no colorants), Tangerine Orange, French Chartreuse, Violet, Aegean Blue, Dark Red, Praseodymium Yellow.

Color Trends 2012: Glaze Recipes and Suggestions for Bringing the Hot Colors of 2012 Into Your Work

Posted On October 24, 2011 12 Comments

If you like to pay attention to trends in color to keep up on what buyers are looking at, today’s post is for you. In our latest free download, the 2012 Ceramic Arts Buyers Guide: A Ceramic Studio Supply Resource, we translate one of the most respected sources (Pantone’s Home + Interior color forecast) for such things into glaze combinations. In today’s post, we excerpt from the Buyers Guide to share some of those color trends and give some suggestions for developing these colors in glazes. This can also serve as a guide to which prepared ceramic glazes may be the right choice for you to jazz up your work.

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Celadons at Cone 6: A Traditional High Fire Pottery Glaze is Well Within the Reach of Cone 6 Potters

Posted On July 25, 2011 21 Comments

True celadons are high fire glazes, but there are lots of ways to get the celadon look at cone 6. In today’s post, an excerpt from the September 2011 Ceramics Monthly, John Britt explains one way: converting an existing cone 10 recipe to cone 6. To see some other ways, check out the full article in the September CM.

Bowl: Fruits of Our Labor in a Time of Envy, 11 in. (28 cm) in diameter, terra cotta with majolica glazes, fired to cone 04, 2010.

The Colorful World of Majolica: A Beautiful Low-Fire Pottery Glazing Technique

Posted On June 29, 2011 16 Comments

Our summer of DVD filming continues and, in a couple of weeks, Linda Arbuckle will be coming to town to share her vast knowledge of the majolica (maiolica) technique on an instructional video. If you’re unfamiliar with majolica, it is a type of decoration typically done on terra cotta, with opaque white glaze and colored overglaze decoration. Linda is an expert on the majolica subject, and shared her knowledge in the  written form in the latest issue of Ceramics Monthly. Today, I am presenting an excerpt from that article and in the next couple of months, her instructional DVD will hit the shelves of the Ceramic Arts Daily Bookstore. Stay tuned!

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Techno File: Four Ways to Reliable Red Ceramic Glazes

Posted On June 13, 2011 10 Comments

In today’s post, an excerpt from our latest free download, the 2011 Clay Workshop Handbook: Knowledge and Techniques for the Pottery Studio, Dave Finkelnberg explains four ways to get great red glazes and shares four fabulous red glaze recipes, from low-fire to high fire reduction. Have a look and then download your free copy of the 2011 Clay Workshop Handbook! Even if you are not going to a workshop this summer, there’s something in the handbook for you!

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Mixing and Testing Pottery Glazes: A Great Way to Expand Your Understanding of Glaze Chemistry

Posted On June 8, 2011 10 Comments

Learning how different materials contribute to glazes is very important in expanding your abilities as a ceramic artist. And the best way to learn about glaze chemistry is to test, test, test. By testing lots of recipes and varying the ingredients, you can become familiar how ceramic raw materials behave and interact. In today’s post, Richard Zakin explains his straightforward system for making and testing glazes. With this primer, you’ll be able to start testing away!