Registration opens Sat, May 22, 2021

Course starts May 31.

 

Introducing:

Mastering Glaze Consistency

Master the art and science of consistent glaze results in this comprehensive online program. Mastering Glaze Consistency is an in-depth program that will give you a foundation of technical, scientific knowledge plus a complete, step-by-step testing system that you can use to fine tune and master each of your individual glazes.

Become confident in your ability to control your glaze application, troubleshoot glaze issues and repeat your best glaze results, firing after firing, without having to sacrifice your body of work to the “kiln gods”.

Mastering Glaze Consistency is a 4-week program that will walk you through every step of the making, glazing and firing process with easy to understand explanations for how each step is affecting your end results.

By the end of this course, you’ll have:

  • A complete picture of the 7 main factors that are affecting your glaze results
  • A thorough understanding of how different glaze materials and water affect glaze application, and how to control them
  • A repeatable, step-by-step testing and tuning system that you can use with each of your glazes to make sure they turn out the way you intend them to
  • An increased vocabulary of ceramic jargon that will help you understand what the heck the experts are talking about in glaze books and online
  • The confidence to make intentional glazing decisions instead of just going for it, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.
  • Specific strategies for troubleshooting some of the most common glaze issues and reasons for kiln opening disappointment

Pricing

(This is for your information. Registration buttons will be added on May 22, 2021)

Pay in Full

Guided Group Program

One payment

$297 USD

  • Lifetime access to Mastering Glaze Consistency program
  • Bonus flocculation/deflocculation research videos
  • Worksheets, action plans, slides and transcripts
  • Private, students only Facebook Group and Course Community for asking questions
  • 4 weekly Glaze Chat Q&A sessions on Zoom
  • Mastering Glaze Vocabulary – Word Hunt challenge

Pay by credit card or PayPal

Payment Plan

Guided Group Program

3 monthly payments of

$114 USD

  • Lifetime access to Mastering Glaze Consistency program
  • Bonus flocculation/deflocculation research videos
  • Worksheets, action plans, slides and transcripts
  • Private, students only Facebook Group and Course Community for asking questions
  • 4 weekly Glaze Chat Q&A sessions on Zoom
  • Mastering Glaze Vocabulary – Word Hunt challenge

Pay by credit card only

Pay in Full

Independent Study Program

One payment

$197 USD

  • Lifetime access to Mastering Glaze Consistency program
  • Bonus flocculation/deflocculation research videos
  • Worksheets, action plans, slides and transcripts
  • Private, students only Facebook Group and Course Community for asking questions
  • 4 weekly Glaze Chat Q&A sessions on Zoom
  • Mastering Glaze Vocabulary – Word Hunt challenge

Pay by credit card or PayPal

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What my students are saying…

“Since taking your glaze consistency class in the spring, I have slowly been improving my glazing skills. I just had the best kiln unloading of my life! The main fixes were from witness cones on all the shelves (top and bottom was under firing) and using an electric mixer. I was using a toilet bowl brush and I don’t think it was doing the job. I would never have guessed I was under mixing. Or that my kiln was so uneven. Seems obvious now.

Also, I have an engineering and physics degree, and your explanations of the chemistry and physics of ceramics were the best I’ve ever heard. Everything finally clicked in place.”

Lindsey Olsen

Pitbull Pottery

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If you’re a potter, ceramic artist, teacher or studio technician who wants more control over the glazing process and confidence in your ability to consistently repeat your most amazing results, then you probably already know that you need to learn a bit of science and the technical side of ceramics if you want to take your glazing skills to the next level.

It’s time for some direction

You’ve read books, done countless Google searches and watched dozens of YouTube videos and you KNOW that there’s more to mastering the glazing process than counting the number of seconds you hold your piece in the glaze for.

You also likely know that it’s important to pay attention to the amount of water you’re adding to your glazes. You’ve probably heard the term “specific gravity” before and you may have even started measuring the specific gravity of your own glazes because you KNOW that it’s one of the keys to consistent results.

Maybe you’ve even dabbled with flocculants and deflocculants too. You’re testing all the techniques and suggestions that you’ve heard about because you’re serious about finally taking control of this glazing business.

You’ve spent so much time piecing together all the information you’ve found that you’d think you’d have it all figured out by now.

But you always seem to learn some new, significant tip or detail that you had no idea about before and then you have to figure out where that detail fits within all the information you already have.

It’s ok, because you’re up for it. You’re invested in the process. You didn’t hop on the potter’s wheel and throw amazing pots right away. You put a lot of time into learning the making process. You failed a lot but you kept trying.

You’re ready and excited to put your time into mastering the glazing process but you want to make sure you’re focusing on the right things.

Even though you focus on glazing consistently, your results are anything but consistent

Does this story sound familiar to you?

You’ve spent days, weeks, even months throwing, building, sculpting a kiln load of pots and then you get to the part where it’s time to glaze all of these creations.

You pick up a mug, hold it in your hand, turn it around and imagine what it will look like when it comes out of the glaze firing.

You start planning something like:

“I’ll use Glaze X on the inside. I’ll pour the glaze in and quickly pour it back out again.
Then on the outside, I’ll create contrast with Glaze Y on the top that will run into Glaze Z at the bottom. Glaze Y is a little runny but Glaze Z is super stable. I’ll do quick dips of each, with an inch of overlap because that’s what I did last time and the combination looked spectacular.
Then I’ll add a splash of Glaze X on the handle to tie the outside in with the inside. I’ll do all 12 mugs the same.”

The mugs look perfect in your mind. Just what you envisioned before you ever started making them. You’re feeling very inspired and excited about your craft and the work you’ve been creating. Your making skills have improved so much over the last few months.

You can’t WAIT for this kiln opening.

This story can continue in a variety of ways…

Scenario #1:

Your mugs come out of the kiln looking exactly as you expected. The liner glaze is perfectly even and smooth. And look at those vibrant colours where the glazes overlap on the outside. So much depth, even better than last time!

No kiln shelves to scrape, no head scratching results, no re-fires. You snap a couple photos, upload them into your online shop and happily start making more pots.

Scenario #2:

Your mugs come out of the kiln safely, no drips, but why are the glazes so dull? Last time you used this glaze combo, the results were vibrant and colourful. This time, it looks muddy and lifeless. All 12 mugs are the same.

What happened? Why do they look so terrible?

Your friends tell you how nice they are but you’re disappointed. You had a vision and this definitely isn’t it.

Do you re-glaze them and re-fire? Is that even going to help?

Do you sell them even though you’re not very proud of them? Will you learn to like them one day or would you be embarrassed to have your name attached to them for eternity?

Do you take a hammer to them and start over?

You spend some time contemplating what to do about them, meanwhile your spark and creative energy has faded. You know you need to try again but it takes a while to get your groove back.

Scenario #3:

You open the kiln and “NOOOOOO…” your glazes have run all over the place.

How did this happen? These are supposed to be stable glazes. They worked great a couple months ago and you didn’t change anything. Same buckets of glaze, same glazing technique.

You spend a day grinding kiln shelves and grinding mug bottoms, trying to salvage the few mugs with the least damage. Most of them get the hammer.

You spend another day on the internet, posting photos and questions in various ceramic forums, trying to figure out what happened. You get advice from 60 different people with 60 different things you may have done wrong, but no real clarity about what to do differently next time.

You feel defeated but decide to start again and make more pots. You finally get your groove back by making some really cool pots but you’re so afraid of glazing them that you keep putting it off.

You stockpile your bisque until you have no space left and are forced to do some glazing.

With fingers crossed, you carefully glaze again and hope for the best.

Scenario #4:

You open the kiln and at first glance, your mugs look a-MAZ-ing!! Exactly as you hoped they would look. You do a little happy dance and excitedly start unloading the kiln.

Suddenly, your heart sinks as you notice that the glaze has crawled on the inside of most of your mugs. It’s not extreme, but there are small bare patches where the glaze has peeled away, exposing the clay body underneath.

The outsides are perfect, better than you could have imagined! Long, colourful drips that stop just before touching the kiln shelf. You couldn’t have planned it better if you tried.

But the insides are cringe-worthy. You put them out of sight as you unload the rest of the kiln. Then you reluctantly check back on the mugs. Maybe they’re not that bad… Maybe you over-reacted… 

Nope. There’s no denying that they’re flawed beyond your acceptable standard of work. You decide to touch up the bare spots with glaze and re-fire the mugs with your fingers crossed. After all, what have you got to lose except time and kiln space?

When they come out of the second glaze firing, a few of them are fixed and perfect. A few of them have new bare patches on the insides. These ones get the hammer.

A few of them look great on the insides but the outside glazes have now run onto the kiln shelves. Those lovely, fluid, outside glazes just couldn’t handle any more heat.

You spend some time grinding your kiln shelves and grinding the bottoms of the mugs that ran. You realize that you’ve spent more time trying to fix these 12 failed mugs than it would have taken to make 12 new ones. You promise yourself that next time, they’re all getting the hammer and you’re moving on.

What’s your glaze story?

Of the 4 scenarios described above, which is closest to the experience you’ve been having with your glazes?

Scenario #1 is what we all strive for. It’s what we deserve eventually, right? If we keep trying and take lots of notes, surely one day, we’ll be good at this.

But how frustrating is it when you pay such close attention to your process and try so hard to repeat what you did last time, only to get completely different results? It’s enough to pull your hair out.

Scenarios #2, #3 & #4 are so common and the cause of these results is quite simple.

Registration opens Sat, May 22, 2021

Course starts May 31.

 

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What my students are saying…

“I was getting some bad kiln results and couldn’t figure out what to do about it.  I had already purchased some flocculant and deflocculant, but I didn’t know how to use them. Since I don’t have any glaze community nearby I was stuck.  YouTube videos helped, but were incomplete.  I didn’t just want an instruction for what to do – I wanted to know why I was doing it.

This course more than met my expectations.  As someone with 25+ years of university teaching I was delightfully surprised with your organization and delivery of the course material.  I liked the previews of the lessons and the ability to print out the transcripts so I could listen instead of scrambling to write everything down.  I will confess I had never measured specific gravity before, so my glaze mixing was really just guess-work.  I’m so much more confident now.”

Dr. Mary Wise TerBeck

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Undesired glaze results are commonly caused by an issue with glaze application thickness

The #1 way to control glaze application thickness is by monitoring and controlling the glaze’s water content.

Water is THE most overlooked glaze ingredient.

When glaze mixing, most people are very careful about measuring out the powdered glaze materials so precisely, and then they dump a bunch of water in until it “seems” the right thickness.

This is the part where all control over glaze results goes out the window.

If you’re not paying attention to how much water you’re putting in your glazes, then you can expect to have varied results.

Here’s an example of one glaze with increasing water content

Inconsistent water content

=

Inconsistent glaze application thickness

=

Inconsistent glaze results

The good news is, it’s easy to take control over your glaze’s water content.

You can measure how much water there is in any glaze. Even if your glaze has been around forever and there’s no way to possibly know how much water has been added, you can find out exactly how much water is in that glaze.

The process is called measuring specific gravity and it’s the first step to mastering glaze consistency.

Once you start taking control of the water content of your glazes, not only are you going to see a noticeable improvement in the consistency of your glaze results, but you’ll start to see how many of your past glaze issues were a result of inconsistent water content.

You’ll start to connect the dots and say “I can’t believe I wasn’t paying attention to the water in my glazes before.”

Now, you might be wondering, “Is that all I have to do? Will measuring the water in my glazes solve all my glaze problems? Can it be that simple?”

If you’ve been working in ceramics for long enough, you probably know the answer to this.

Glazes are more complicated than that

Adjusting the water is just the first step. You also need to consider how the viscosity of the glaze is affecting application.

The viscosity of a glaze is the physical thickness in the bucket. Viscosity can be adjusted in several ways. Adding water will thin a glaze down, but adding water isn’t always the best option.

It’s important to understand how not enough or too much water could have a negative impact on your glaze results and why.

Different glazes are going to behave differently, depending what they’re made of. Each glaze is unique and is going to have its own ideal conditions that depend on a number of factors.

 

Here are some of the factors that we need to consider:

  1. What’s your application method?
  2. Do you think the glaze looks better when thin or thick?
  3. Will the glaze be layered?
  4. What’s the glaze made of?
  5. Do the glaze materials absorb water?
  6. Do the glaze materials dissolve in water
  7. How much is too much water for this glaze?
  8. Does the glaze dry too fast or too slowly?
  9. Is your glaze completely homogenized?
  10. Does the glaze run when thick?
  11. Does the glaze shrink when it dries?
  12. Does the glaze crawl?
  13. How is the glaze’s viscosity affecting your application?
  14. Does the glaze need to be flocculated or deflocculated?
  15. How porous is your bisque?

These are just some of the factors that contribute to the end result.

If you’re reading this list and thinking, “I’ve only ever considered #1 before,” don’t worry! You’re not alone.

Most people just try to get their glaze to the right visible thickness for their application method and don’t give much thought to the rest until they’re trying to solve a problem.

This is what many of us are taught and then teach others.

But the truth is, all of these other factors are playing a role in your glaze results, whether you’re paying attention to them or not.

There’s a scientific explanation for all of it and there’s a simple step-by-step system you can follow to make sure you’re not leaving anything out.

Once you understand the science behind glaze application, your glaze results will start to make a whole lot more sense. You’ll be able to make better glazing decisions, troubleshoot issues and advance your creative skills with more controlled glaze application.

You’ll finally have the confidence to glaze that stock-piled bisqueware without the fear of ruining your pots by glazing them.

Does that sound exciting to you? Is it time to finally roll up your sleeves and master the art of glaze consistency?

Registration opens Sat, May 22, 2021

Course starts May 31.

 

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What my students are saying…

“I have a blue commercial glaze with which I have problems getting consistent results. So the course description was exactly matching with what I was looking for. Throughout the course I realized that I have more glazing issues that I can try to solve now 🙂

The course really met my expectations! It was very well structured, provided good and clear explanations, showed enough examples, etc.”

Danielle Cools

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