A Blog about Ceramic Art and Science

Ceramic Glazes

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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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…

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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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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…

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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…

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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 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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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…

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Studio Tips

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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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.

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Don’t Skimp on Safety in the Glaze Lab

Don’t Skimp on Safety in the Glaze Lab

Most of our glaze materials come to us in their very basic, unprocessed form.  They are dug out of the ground, impurities may or may not be removed, they are ground into a fine powder, bagged and shipped to our suppliers. Working with these minerals in their raw state poses some health risks.

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Specific Gravity

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

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