A Blog about Ceramic Art and Science

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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 Fix a Hard-Panned Glaze with Epsom Salts

How to Fix a Hard-Panned Glaze with Epsom Salts

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 happens to glazes that don’t have enough…

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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…

read more
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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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
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…

read more
Understanding Cone 6 – NCECA presentation 2018

Understanding Cone 6 – NCECA presentation 2018

On Mar 15, 2018 I gave my first ever NCECA talk. I was part of a panel discussion called Glazes Without Borders, moderated by Matt Katz. My co-presenters Kiara Matos and Peter Berg gave talks about "Copper as a Flux" and "Copper Leaching and Glaze Durability". You can...

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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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Ceramic Glazes

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?”

read more
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…

read more
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
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…

read more
Understanding Cone 6 – NCECA presentation 2018

Understanding Cone 6 – NCECA presentation 2018

On Mar 15, 2018 I gave my first ever NCECA talk. I was part of a panel discussion called Glazes Without Borders, moderated by Matt Katz. My co-presenters Kiara Matos and Peter Berg gave talks about "Copper as a Flux" and "Copper Leaching and Glaze Durability". You can...

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
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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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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Studio Tips

The Air Bubble Myth

The Air Bubble Myth

There’s a common belief in ceramics that leaving pockets of air in your clay, either due to insufficient wedging or by creating an enclosed form, leads to explosions in the kiln. The belief is often communicated in these ways: “Poorly wedged clay containing air bubbles will explode…”

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A Potter With a Paycheque?

A Potter With a Paycheque?

This post is based on an email I sent out this past Fall about my journey from a struggling studio potter to starting my dream job as a studio technician to reluctantly growing out of that position and quitting my job in order to teach online classes full time.

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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

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Glazy.org Demos

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