The following clay, glazes and slips have come to work for
me over time. Many of these glazes are common in the ceramic world:
it's how you use them that make them work. Best of luck with your
(categories of glazing)
(a note on recipes)
I am including this page as these glazes were all given to me freely,
and I am often asked for the recipes at workshops and lectures.
I had been from the one dunk school of pottery glazing when
I entered graduate school. During my second year, I fell off
my bicycle into an irrigation ditch and broke my wrist. That
pretty much took me out of making work for the rest of the semester.
I did have a stack of bisqueware in my studio and I spent the
rest of the spring decorating, glazing and re-glazing this wear.
When I went to Nova Scotia College of Art and Design for
a semester, I very much wanted to combine the versatility of
color from Majolica with the density and strength of porcelain.
Alec Karros was working at the mid-range temperature in Boulder
with colors that I had never seen before. I began working with
his glazes, though now I had to figure out how to put all these
I had a wonderful Art Theory lecture class with George Woodman:
George is an art theorist, wonderful painter, and a very sharp
dresser. During class I took notes on his clothing, and then
went down to the studio to glaze my pots accordingly: tan pants
with a royal blue tee-shirt over a green button up and gray
shoes, turned into tan flashing slip, gray on the foot of the
pot, royal blue on the inside of the pot or spout or handle
and patterned in different shades of green.
We put all kinds of colors and textures together when we
get dressed every morning, and when it comes to glazing, I
think this is a good place to start. (return
categories of glazing
I put glazes into a few different categories to help me better
understand them and their content.
First is a "paint chip glaze:" a glaze of straight color. It's
extremely reliable and what you see is what you get, over and
Second is a "historical glaze:" a glaze with strong historical
ties. The glaze itself can become the content in the work.
Third is the "phenomena glaze:" a glaze that changes when it
is fired. From it, you gain a sense that the material has had
an experience of firing or time passage. (return
I work with mid-range porcelain, bisque fire to cone 08 and glaze fire in a soda kiln to cone 6. Pretty much everything that I make starts on the wheel, and then is altered to some degree. I use a shimpo RK-2 that I bought in high school with my baby sitting money and had in my room between my bunk bed and dresser. I often throw standing up – and for this I use a Brent model "C".
The glazes listed here are base recipes. I use them with many different amounts of colorants and different combination of colorants in them. I change the colorants and amounts often to respond to the work I am making. These base glazes may be a good place to start – trey your own colorants!. For more more recipes, I suggest that you look at the "field Guide for Ceramics Artisans website, Chapter 12.
I fire in a soda kiln in a neutral to clean atmosphere, and spray about 3 pounds of soda ash mixed with 2 gallons of water when cone 5 gets soft. (return to top)
a note on recipes
These recipes have been collected from all over, but I want to especially thank all the folks at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design: Walter Ostrom, Doug Banford, Joan Berneau, in addition, Alec Karros, and Chloe Rizzo.
After a lot of testing, I still use Barium Carbonate in some
of my glazes. I do not use it on any surfaces that come in contact
I also use gold and platinum lustre and always wear gloves,
use a respirator with new filters, and a good ventilation system.
I do not use Barium, Manganese, Vanadium Pentoxide, or Strontium
on the insides of any pots. Please be responsible about how you
use these glazes. (return to top)