A Blog about Ceramic Art and Science

Ceramic Glazes

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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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

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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