What Do the Glaze Materials Do?

Do you look at a glaze recipe and wonder what all those materials are there for? This is the most common question I hear when potters are first learning about glaze recipes and how to mix glazes from scratch.

In fact, I posted a survey in my Facebook Group – Understanding Glazes with Sue to see what people most want to learn about, and here are the results:

Understanding what all the glaze materials are for is by far the thing people want to learn the most.

Glaze recipes include all sorts of seemingly complicated and technical materials like Whiting, Feldspars, Nepheline Syenite, Gerstley Borate etc., in certain percentages. Many of us just weigh out these materials without having a clue as to why they’re in the glaze or what function they perform.

Understanding the role each material plays in our glaze, at least on a very basic level, can feel very empowering. It’s really the first step to understanding glaze chemistry, which opens up a whole other world of ceramic possibilities.

A beginner friendly workshop

If you’re ready to start learning about glaze materials, then you don’t want to miss this beginner friendly workshop where I’ll explain what glazes are made of, how they melt in the kiln, and how each material fits into the the equation. No experience with glaze chemistry is necessary.

The only experience you need to have is, at some point, you looked at a glaze recipe and thought “I have no idea what any of this means”.

This virtual workshop was originally taught live in March 2022 and I received such great feedback that I’ve decided to open up enrollment for a limited time.

As soon as you register, you’ll login to a student dashboard where you can view the workshop right away. You’ll also be able to download the workshop pdf called “What Do the Glaze Materials Do?” and the workshop presentation slides, in case you want to print anything out before you start watching.

This is a preview of the document this workshop is based on. You’ll receive this document when you register.


Registration has now closed for this workshop.

Join my newsletter and you’ll be notified next time I offer a glaze workshop.

“I’m amazed by Sue’s complete knowledge of such a complex subject.”

Barry - workshop student

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will I have access to the workshop for?

You will have access to the workshop and everything in your Student Dashboard until Jan 14, 2023, regardless of when you sign up.


Is this workshop for cone 6 glazes?

This workshop is about the materials used to make glazes at all temperatures.


Why are the prices in US Dollars?

Since my students are international, USD is the most “universal” currency option.


What's your refund policy?

Since you get instant access to this digital workshop, no refunds will be offered.


Your Instructor – Sue McLeod

I’ve been fascinated with glaze chemistry since I first learned to mix glazes from scratch in 2009. I really started to take it seriously when I started unloading kiln load after kiln load of runny glazes and cracked pots. I could no longer afford to not understand glaze chemistry. It’s been a passion of mine ever since and I continue to learn more and more with each kiln unload.

From 2015-2021, I worked as a ceramics studio technician at a busy public studio in Victoria, BC, Canada, where it was my job to mix and maintain large batches of glaze and fire the kilns. During this time, I was able to study the thousands of glazed pots coming out of the kiln and use my knowledge of glaze chemistry to improve many of the glazes so studio users could have more successful glaze results.

I now work out of my home studio and teach online glaze courses full time.


All questions about the workshop can be sent through my website contact form. I’d love to hear from you!