A Blog about Ceramic Art and Science

Ceramic Glazes

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...

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How to Fix a Hard-Panned Glaze with Epsom Salts

How to Fix a Hard-Panned Glaze with Epsom Salts

Why Do Glazes Hard-Pan? Have you ever had a glaze settle into a rock hard layer on the bottom of your glaze bucket? It’s impossible to mix and even if you do get it mixed, it just settles out again. This annoying phenomenon is called “hard-panning” and it often...

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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...

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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...

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What to Keep Track of in Your Glaze Journal

What to Keep Track of in Your Glaze Journal

Download your free Glaze Journal Checklist Print out this 5-page checklist and keep it in your studio for easy reference. Click here to get it!How Magic Becomes Science Have you ever unloaded a BEAUTIFUL piece from the kiln and thought, “Gee, I wish I could remember...

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15 Tips to Get Started with Glaze Testing

15 Tips to Get Started with Glaze Testing

My Introduction To 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. My first year of pottery school was mainly about learning how clay worked and...

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How to Add Bentonite to a Wet Glaze

How to Add Bentonite to a Wet Glaze

  Photos, instructions and a video down below!What is bentonite? Bentonite is a very fine particle clay that’s often used as a suspending agent in glazes. Glazes need clay in them to keep all the other materials suspended in the bucket. If your glaze recipe...

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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...

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? For the last 5 years, I've been a ceramics studio technician at a community pottery studio. After working full time for 4 years, I cut my hours back to 3 days/week so I could focus more on teaching (and blogging!). The...

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How to Calibrate Your Kiln Sitter for Accurate Firings

How to Calibrate Your Kiln Sitter for Accurate Firings

How the Kiln Sitter Works 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 and then one day, we may have a chance to upgrade. Full disclosure, I...

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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. (I use the words “reclaim” and “recycle” interchangeably.) When we make something that cracks, warps or doesn’t look how we wanted it to, we...

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

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

Different Kinds of Kiln Shelves Before I talk about kiln wash, I want to talk about kiln shelves. The kiln shelves that I’ll be referring to in this article are high alumina kiln shelves. Alumina is highly refractory, meaning it melts at a super high temperature (cone...

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Do You Put Witness Cones in Every Firing?

Do You Put Witness Cones in Every Firing?

I receive a lot of glaze questions and the first question I generally ask in return is "What did the cones look like?" This is because knowing whether the kiln was over- or under-fired is important for diagnosing many glaze issues. Sometimes I'm told a kiln...

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Specific Gravity

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...

read more
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...

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

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

Adding Water to Glazes 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...

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How to Measure the Specific Gravity of Your Glazes

How to Measure the Specific Gravity of Your Glazes

Video Tutorial 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...

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