Period ____# _____ Name ____________________________
Date _____________
Glazes are thin layers of glass fused to the surface of ceramic (clay) bodies. They
are composed of glass forming minerals (silica); fluxes (melting agents); clay,
which gives body and helps control flow or viscosity of the glaze; and colorants if
color is desired. Examples of colorants are iron oxide or cobalt. Glazes may be
colored or clear; bright or dull; transparent, translucent, or opaque. Glazes can be
glossy or have a semi-gloss, semi-matte, or matte appearance.
Wet glaze is applied to a clay surface and when dried forms a powered layer. Glaze
is applied by dipping, pouring, brushing or spraying. Most often we will dip or
pour glaze on.
 Glaze is applied to work that has been bisque fired (in most studios).
 Avoid handling bisque fired work too much (oil from your hands can affect
 Bisque fired work is still fragile – avoid using handles on cups until final
 Once work has been glazed put it on the “To Be Glaze Fired” rack.
 It is very important to not put glaze on too thick.
 It is very important to not have any glaze on the bottom of a piece.
 Clean up any equipment you use: mixers, brushes, cups for pouring.
Low-fire glaze is generally fired to a temperature range
of 1600 - 2000˚ F. Some low-fire glazes (like luster
glazes) are fired to a lower temperature. We will not be
using low-fire glaze. We use High-fire glaze that is
fired to Δ5 - 2151˚ Fahrenheit. Other glaze materials
available are underglazes and oxides.
CONTAMINATE GLAZES!!!!!!! If you are not
paying attention you can easily pour the wrong glaze into the wrong container, put
a brush in the wrong jar…. BE CAREFUL!!!!!
Period ____# _____ Name ____________________________
Date _____________
1. Use a damp sponge to get rid of any unwanted dust or oil which will prevent
the glaze from sticking to the surface. You must be careful not to have oil or dust
on your hands as you handle the unglazed pieces.
2. Apply wax resist to anywhere you do not want the glaze to be. Glaze will
attach areas that it touches together. It is also wise to put the wax ¼" up the side of
the pot too minimize glaze runs or drips. Let the wax dry (5 minutes) before going
on to step #3. (Use the banding wheel to apply an even coat that has a clean line.)
3. Prepare the glaze by making sure it is totally stirred up as many of the glaze
elements tend to settle. Also see if there is enough glaze available for what you
are doing. Use clean tools when glazing (stirring utensils, pour cups, bowls,
buckets, and dipping tongs). Do not mix the glazes together as they will
contaminate each other and become unusable!
4. Apply the glaze. Glaze application will greatly affect the outcome. The most
common method will be dipping and pouring.
Pour glaze on inside, turn pot and pour out glaze (covering all inside).
Dip piece in glaze (for 2-3 seconds) remove and shake off extra
Cover any finger prints by dabbing glaze with finger tip (or brush).
Clean off any drips or excess glaze (especially on bottom.)
Glaze should be about 1mm thick (thickness of a fingernail).
Underglazes are applied with a brush and 2-3 coats are applied. Glaze that is
applied too thick may crack and fall off your piece. If you need to re-glaze a piece
before it is fired; wash it off completely and let it dry at least 24 hours and try
again. Glaze can be applied by brushing, spraying, pouring, and dipping. A
combination of techniques can also be used. Glaze can be applied one over the
other if allowed to dry in between applications. (Colored oxides can also be used
under or over the glaze for added color and effect.)
Continue to handle your piece with care as the glaze dries to a powder, do not
touch other pieces if you have powdered glaze on your hands.
5. Clean any glaze off the foot of your work (dry-footing). Make sure no
glaze is on a contact point, for example where a lid fits on a jar.
6. Place your work on the “To be fired” rack – and wait for it to be fired!