Pottery basics - 5 tips when glazing

Glazing is a very exciting process in pottery and it's where all the magic happens! Going from a dusty white piece to something totally unique. The best (and maybe worst) thing about glazing is that sometimes the kiln is in control of the end result. Like with this bunny sculpture for instance, I expected an all purple look and it ended up with a brownish color in some areas. But this is also the beauty of glazing your pottery, when trying new glazes and experimenting, anything can happen!

5 tips when glazing (beginners):

1. Stir and stir and stir - If the glaze hasn't been used for a while there is a big risk that some of the minerals have stuck to the bottom and the walls of the bucket. So make sure you release the minerals in the bottom with a fork and then stir the glaze for a few minutes.

2. Plan your process - how are you going to glaze the piece? By spraying on the glaze, dipping or brushing it on? For example, if the piece is large, the best option might be to paint or spray it (since dipping means it has to fit in the glaze bucket).

3. Learn your glaze - If you're trying a brand new glaze you might be excited to try it on your favorite pieces straight away but be careful here! It might be best to first make a sample on a smaller (or less loved) piece until you know how the glaze will react when firing. Depending on the thickness of the glaze and also the layer you apply, the result can vary a lot.

4. Practice practice practice! In the beginning, glazing might feel tricky since the color of it disappears right after you've applied it. Once you've been glazing for a while, you will get the hang of it. Don't be intimidated in the beginning and just go for it. Worst thing that can happen is you will have to re-glaze it.

5. Clean up the bottom. You need to make sure that the bottom of your piece do not have any glazing on it. This will lead to DESTROYING the kiln (when firing the glaze will stick to the kiln shelf). You wipe off the glaze from the bottom and 3 mm up on the piece with a wet sponge.

Extra tip: Stay safe! Make sure you DO NOT clean up tools covered in glaze in the sink. This need to be done separately in a water bucket that you keep in the studio.

Lots of love,

N

Ceramic bunny in a purple glaze.

Gillar