A Blog about Ceramic Art and Science

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Are You Mixing Your Glazes Well Enough?

Are You Mixing Your Glazes Well Enough?

Glaze results on the thin side? As a studio technician at a busy pottery studio, it’s my job to mix and maintain 20 different studio glazes. I’m also the one studio users often go to for help when their glazes don’t work out as they had hoped. Every now and then…

read more
12 Tips for Managing Glazes at a Busy Pottery Studio

12 Tips for Managing Glazes at a Busy Pottery Studio

Glaze Management 101. It’s a lot of work to run a school or community pottery studio. There are a lot of moving parts to look after. I’ve been a studio technician for 5 years now and it’s a very busy and rewarding job. As the technician, I’m taking care of all the behind the scenes…

read more
A Week in the Life of a Ceramics Studio Technician

A Week in the Life of a Ceramics Studio Technician

What Does a Ceramics Studio Technician Do? Since 2015, I’ve been a ceramics studio technician at a community pottery studio. We run 14 classes per week for both adults and children. We also have an open studio drop-in program where 60 registered members can…

read more
What to Keep Track of in Your Glaze Journal

What to Keep Track of in Your Glaze Journal

How Magic Becomes Science. Have you ever unloaded a BEAUTIFUL piece from the kiln and thought, “Gee, I wish I could remember how I did that”? A big part of glaze testing and advancing your understanding of glazes is record keeping. Whether you’re dipping test tiles or…

read more
How to Add Bentonite to a Wet Glaze

How to Add Bentonite to a Wet Glaze

When I was in school and learning to mix my own glazes, I was warned: “Make sure you add bentonite to the DRY materials and mix them together BEFORE you add any water.” It was good advice. The reason for the warning is when bentonite gets wet it swells and gels and…

read more
How to Make a Good Kiln Wash to Protect Your Kiln Shelves

How to Make a Good Kiln Wash to Protect Your Kiln Shelves

Kiln wash is a material that you can paint onto your kiln shelves. It looks very similar to a glaze when being applied. It acts as a barrier to prevent unexpected glaze runs or drips from ruining your shelves. Kiln shelves are made of a hard material that is similar to…

read more
How to Convert Kaolin to Calcined Kaolin

How to Convert Kaolin to Calcined Kaolin

If you have too much clay in a glaze recipe, you might have issues with your glaze crawling during the firing. Crawling is where the glaze pulls away from the clay body due to a combination of shrinkage, poor adhesion and high surface tension.

read more
How to Make a Cone Pack

How to Make a Cone Pack

In this post, you’ll learn how to make a cone pack using pyrometric witness cones set into a coil of clay. Cones are important for measuring the heatwork of your firings.

read more
How to Calibrate Your Kiln Sitter for Accurate Firings

How to Calibrate Your Kiln Sitter for Accurate Firings

If you’re anything like me, then your first kiln wasn’t or isn’t going to be the digital programmable kind. Many of us start out with a manual kiln that we got second hand. I have 4 different sized kilns in my home studio and none of them are digital or programmable.

read more
99 Cone 6 Glazes You Can Try

99 Cone 6 Glazes You Can Try

Have you been looking for new glazes to add to your glaze palette? If so, I have 99 different cone 6 glazes you can try. That probably sounds like a lot to look through, but it’s really just 9 base glaze recipes plus 10 colour variations each.

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Ceramic Glazes

Are You Mixing Your Glazes Well Enough?

Are You Mixing Your Glazes Well Enough?

Glaze results on the thin side? As a studio technician at a busy pottery studio, it’s my job to mix and maintain 20 different studio glazes. I’m also the one studio users often go to for help when their glazes don’t work out as they had hoped. Every now and then…

read more
12 Tips for Managing Glazes at a Busy Pottery Studio

12 Tips for Managing Glazes at a Busy Pottery Studio

Glaze Management 101. It’s a lot of work to run a school or community pottery studio. There are a lot of moving parts to look after. I’ve been a studio technician for 5 years now and it’s a very busy and rewarding job. As the technician, I’m taking care of all the behind the scenes…

read more
What to Keep Track of in Your Glaze Journal

What to Keep Track of in Your Glaze Journal

How Magic Becomes Science. Have you ever unloaded a BEAUTIFUL piece from the kiln and thought, “Gee, I wish I could remember how I did that”? A big part of glaze testing and advancing your understanding of glazes is record keeping. Whether you’re dipping test tiles or…

read more
How to Add Bentonite to a Wet Glaze

How to Add Bentonite to a Wet Glaze

When I was in school and learning to mix my own glazes, I was warned: “Make sure you add bentonite to the DRY materials and mix them together BEFORE you add any water.” It was good advice. The reason for the warning is when bentonite gets wet it swells and gels and…

read more
How to Convert Kaolin to Calcined Kaolin

How to Convert Kaolin to Calcined Kaolin

If you have too much clay in a glaze recipe, you might have issues with your glaze crawling during the firing. Crawling is where the glaze pulls away from the clay body due to a combination of shrinkage, poor adhesion and high surface tension.

read more
99 Cone 6 Glazes You Can Try

99 Cone 6 Glazes You Can Try

Have you been looking for new glazes to add to your glaze palette? If so, I have 99 different cone 6 glazes you can try. That probably sounds like a lot to look through, but it’s really just 9 base glaze recipes plus 10 colour variations each.

read more
What Glazes Can You Make with Limited Materials?

What Glazes Can You Make with Limited Materials?

When you start looking for glaze recipes and have a limited number of materials on hand, you may find that you have almost (but not quite) all the materials for a million glaze recipes, but you can’t find a recipe that only uses the materials you currently have.

read more
Glazy Demo – Adding Recipes and More

Glazy Demo – Adding Recipes and More

Do you use Glazy.org to store/share your glaze recipes? If you’re just hearing about Glazy for the first time, you should definitely go check it out. It’s a ceramics recipe website that allows you to store recipes with photos, share them with the community and analyze the chemistry/UMF of your glazes, all in one place.

read more
15 Tips to Get Started with Glaze Testing

15 Tips to Get Started with Glaze Testing

I find ceramic glazes to be absolutely fascinating. I had no idea when I started working with clay that glazes would become the main focus of my life. Glazing was always an afterthought and I basically ruined most of my pieces by glazing them…

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Studio Tips

12 Tips for Managing Glazes at a Busy Pottery Studio

12 Tips for Managing Glazes at a Busy Pottery Studio

Glaze Management 101. It’s a lot of work to run a school or community pottery studio. There are a lot of moving parts to look after. I’ve been a studio technician for 5 years now and it’s a very busy and rewarding job. As the technician, I’m taking care of all the behind the scenes…

read more
A Week in the Life of a Ceramics Studio Technician

A Week in the Life of a Ceramics Studio Technician

What Does a Ceramics Studio Technician Do? Since 2015, I’ve been a ceramics studio technician at a community pottery studio. We run 14 classes per week for both adults and children. We also have an open studio drop-in program where 60 registered members can…

read more
How to Make a Good Kiln Wash to Protect Your Kiln Shelves

How to Make a Good Kiln Wash to Protect Your Kiln Shelves

Kiln wash is a material that you can paint onto your kiln shelves. It looks very similar to a glaze when being applied. It acts as a barrier to prevent unexpected glaze runs or drips from ruining your shelves. Kiln shelves are made of a hard material that is similar to…

read more
How to Convert Kaolin to Calcined Kaolin

How to Convert Kaolin to Calcined Kaolin

If you have too much clay in a glaze recipe, you might have issues with your glaze crawling during the firing. Crawling is where the glaze pulls away from the clay body due to a combination of shrinkage, poor adhesion and high surface tension.

read more
How to Make a Cone Pack

How to Make a Cone Pack

In this post, you’ll learn how to make a cone pack using pyrometric witness cones set into a coil of clay. Cones are important for measuring the heatwork of your firings.

read more
How to Calibrate Your Kiln Sitter for Accurate Firings

How to Calibrate Your Kiln Sitter for Accurate Firings

If you’re anything like me, then your first kiln wasn’t or isn’t going to be the digital programmable kind. Many of us start out with a manual kiln that we got second hand. I have 4 different sized kilns in my home studio and none of them are digital or programmable.

read more
Temperature vs Heatwork – Why We Use Witness Cones

Temperature vs Heatwork – Why We Use Witness Cones

I receive a lot of glaze questions and the first question I generally ask in return is “What did the cones look like?” Knowing whether the kiln was over- or under-fired is important for diagnosing many glaze issues. Sometimes I’m told a kiln temperature in response. But…

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A Clay Reclaim Process Using a Pugmill/Clay Mixer

A Clay Reclaim Process Using a Pugmill/Clay Mixer

If you run a community studio or your personal studio is high production, you probably have a lot of clay scraps to deal with. This article will describe the clay reclaim process we use at the very busy pottery studio where I worked as technician for 6 years.

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A Low Tech System for Recycling Clay Scraps

A Low Tech System for Recycling Clay Scraps

As clay artists, we’re so lucky that we can reduce the amount of waste we produce by reclaiming or recycling our unfired clay. When we make something that cracks, warps or doesn’t look how we wanted it to, we can reclaim our clay, bringing it back to its original state so…

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Specific Gravity

Why I Use a Graduated Cylinder for Measuring Specific Gravity

Why I Use a Graduated Cylinder for Measuring Specific Gravity

I use a graduated cylinder for measuring specific gravity. A slender container is going to have smaller increments than a wide container, giving higher accuracy. You could compare this concept to using a scale with 1g increments vs 5g increments. The smaller measurement is…

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Why I Don’t Use a Hydrometer to Measure Specific Gravity

Why I Don’t Use a Hydrometer to Measure Specific Gravity

I didn’t always know about measuring specific gravity. Of the 10 years that I’ve been mixing glazes, I’ve only been measuring specific gravity for 3 of them. It wasn’t a technique I learned in school. But… I had heard about it enough times that eventually I used it to try…

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Why Specific Gravity Isn’t Listed on Glaze Recipes

Why Specific Gravity Isn’t Listed on Glaze Recipes

If you’ve been glazing for any length of time, you may have heard about the importance of measuring the specific gravity of your glazes and you may have found yourself wondering: “If it’s so important to measure specific gravity, why aren’t specific gravity values published on glaze recipes?”

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How the Water in Your Glaze is Affecting Your Results

How the Water in Your Glaze is Affecting Your Results

Does any of this sound familiar? You unload a piece from the kiln and the glaze turned out perfectly! So you glaze more pieces with the same glaze combination, fire them, and they turn out completely different… OR… You mix a small test batch of a glaze and LOVE how it looks…

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Getting Clarity with Clear Glazes

Getting Clarity with Clear Glazes

There’s nothing worse than a cloudy clear glaze muddying up your beautiful slip design, screen printed images or coloured clay. How can we make sure our clear glaze is always clear and prevent it from going cloudy? In this article, I’ll explain some of the factors that affect the…

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How to Measure Specific Gravity – Clay Week 2020

How to Measure Specific Gravity – Clay Week 2020

Here's a live demo of how to measure the specific gravity of your glazes so you can have more consistent results. Measuring specific gravity is a way to calculate and control the water content of your glazes. When the water content is consistent, application thickness...

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How to Measure the Specific Gravity of Your Glazes

How to Measure the Specific Gravity of Your Glazes

In this video I demonstrate how to measure the specific gravity of a glaze I just mixed using a graduated cylinder and a scale. Measuring specific gravity is a way to calculate the water content of a glaze to ensure that each time you glaze, you have the same amount of water…

read more

Glazy.org Demos

What Glazes Can You Make with Limited Materials?

What Glazes Can You Make with Limited Materials?

When you start looking for glaze recipes and have a limited number of materials on hand, you may find that you have almost (but not quite) all the materials for a million glaze recipes, but you can’t find a recipe that only uses the materials you currently have.

read more
Glazy Demo – Adding Recipes and More

Glazy Demo – Adding Recipes and More

Do you use Glazy.org to store/share your glaze recipes? If you’re just hearing about Glazy for the first time, you should definitely go check it out. It’s a ceramics recipe website that allows you to store recipes with photos, share them with the community and analyze the chemistry/UMF of your glazes, all in one place.

read more