Wish your glaze results were more consistent?
Do you have these glaze challenges?
- You don’t know how much water to add to your glazes
- You get different results every firing
- Your glazes aren’t turning out as expected
- You can’t seem to keep your glaze thickness consistent
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You can fine tune your glazes with a few easy steps. All you need is a scale and a container and it’s super simple to adjust your glazes and keep them consistent.
Understanding Glazes and Studio Tips
Articles written by Sue McLeod
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…
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…
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…
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…
If you’ve never used Glazy.org before, this is a helpful tutorial to get started. In this tutorial, I go over the basics of using the site.
In this tutorial, I go over how to add colourants to a recipe and keep the colourants separate from the base recipe so your base adds up to 100% and your colourants are shown as additions.
In this tutorial, I show you how to use Glazy to make material substitutions using the UMF (Unity Molecular Formula).
Do you have a matte glaze that you wish was a bit glossier, or would you like a glossy version of one of your matte glazes? It’s really easy to convert a matte glaze to a glossy glaze, just by adding one ingredient…
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.
On Mar 15, 2018 I gave my first ever NCECA talk. I was part of a panel discussion called Glazes Without Borders, moderated by my teacher, Matt Katz. This video is a 20 minute clip of my presentation...
Glazy.org is a website where users can upload their ceramic recipes with images, to share with the ceramics community. Anyone can create an account for free. You can search for recipes based on colour, texture, temperature and more. Click for more info.
Are you ready to start mixing your own glazes? Perhaps you’ve reached the point in your ceramics journey that you want to start understanding the materials you’re working with and what is actually happening when you put your pottery into the kiln.
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.
When a recipe adds up to 100%, we can easily compare it to other recipes. This is particularly useful when we have additions like colourants and opacifiers. The base recipe remains constant while the additions are always relative to 100%. It also allows us to look at 2 recipes side by side and compare the amounts of individual materials. But what do we do if our recipe doesn’t add up to 100%?
"Understanding Cone 6" - Pittsburgh 2018
My NCECA presentation Understanding Cone 6 is all about using glaze chemistry, the Unity Molecular Formula and the Stull chart to understand how different surfaces are created at cone 6.
Which glaze formulas are likely to be matte or glossy? Which ones are likely to be crazed or be under-fired? How does flux ratio impact fired results?
Understanding Cone 6 presentation slides and script are available as a free download!