Glaze, It's Not Just for Doghnuts!

Premixed vs. Store-Bought Glaze


Potters have more choices than ever before in what glazes they can use on their pots. While some potters prefer to mix thier own glazes, commercial glaze manufacturers have introduced innovative processes that can only be created in an industrial setting, in order to produce a greater range of glazes.

Why use commercial glazes?

  • They can reduce the risk in using toxic materials.
  • They can come in either dry or wet (ready-to-use) form.
  • Studio potters cannot replicate some industrial production methods. This is especially true for low-fire glazes, underglazes, lusters, luster glazes, and overglazes.
  • Extensive color charts are available so you can have a good idea of what a glaze looks like prior to use.
  • There is a huge color range and many special effect glazes, especially in the lower ranges.
  • They are usually made so they flow better when brushed on, and brush marks smooth out during firing.
  • Commercial glazes are especially appropriate for those who are new to ceramics, for schools, and for those who do not have the room or facilities for glaze-making.
Click here to get the full pro/con list.

To learn more about commercial ceramic glazes click here.

What is Glaze?

Ceramic glaze is a mixture of ground glass, clays, coloring materials and water. This substance is applied to a ceramic object (most likely a bisqued piece), by dipping, pouring, spraying, brushing or some combinatin of these techniques. The glazed piece dries and then it fired a second time in order to melt the glaze to the ceramic. Ceramic glaze may be used to strengthen the underlying ceramic, or to waterproof the vessel or for purely decorative reasons. Ceramic glaze is used on everything from vases,  to bowls, to plates, to decorative pieces of ceramic artwork.


To read more click here.


Raku glazes are often fractured, which are referred to as Crazing.  These crackle glazes are enhanced by the post firing smoking of Raku pots that embeds carbon into the crackles of the glaze.

Safety First!

If you are going to be mixing your own ceramic glaze, BE CAREFUL! Mixing ceramic glaze recipes can be very dangerous! Many materials are dangerous when inhaled and others are poisonous.

  • Make sure to check a Material Safety Data Sheet for every raw material you use. 
  • You can look up MSDS data on raw materials for ceramic glaze recipes at 
  • Remember to only mix your ceramic glaze recipes in a well ventilated area and always use a respirator.

For more tips, click here.

Glaze Recipes

You're Fired!

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