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Iron In Glaze? Absolute Beginner's Questions

Iron Glaze glazes beginner beginners question pitted Glaze mixing Glaze identify glaze Book recommendations recommendation education

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#1 Ves



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Posted 13 April 2017 - 01:02 AM

Hello there,

I'm very new into Pottery and don't know much about glazes yet, well, don't know much about a lot to do with Pottery, to be honest. I've mainly worked with clay during art school for anatomical sculpture and recently acquired a kiln from a cousin. I have never fired a kiln before, but feel comfortable with the greenware (I thiiink that's unfired clay, right?) I'm not even sure of the model yet. I have 2 questions (to start with) for you:

*Can you recommend a good book or resource (video, websites, etc) to help me, an absolute and complete beginner, learn how to safely work a kiln and find more info on glaze and glazing techniques? I am most drawn to Japanese Pottery styles, if that helps filter at all. :)

*how long will it take to get good enough to make pottery like the attached images? I'm a very fast learner and am able to dedicate a large majority of time to this.

I appreciate any and all assistance, and thank you for accepting me into the community!


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#2 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 12:04 PM

Not sure if your kiln has a programmer but this talks about firing kilns


and what happens during the firing


a list of major oxides used in glaze


some more about oxides



It will take you twice as long as half the length it takes you  :ph34r:

One physical test is worth a thousand expert opinions.


gallery_23281_871_611.png gallery_23281_871_239.png gallery_23281_871_701.jpg


#3 Fred Sweet

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 03:05 PM

Just to let you know, the example that you show is a copper red glaze fired in a reduction kiln. You won't be able to achieve that coloration using a standard electric kiln. Iron based glazes will be more successful.

#4 Mark C.

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 04:24 PM

(*how long will it take to get good enough to make pottery like the attached images?)

This will vary greatly for each person so its impossible to say for you.

Mark Cortright

#5 Joseph F

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 08:37 PM

(*how long will it take to get good enough to make pottery like the attached images?)

This will vary greatly for each person so its impossible to say for you.


Exactly. No one can tell you how fast you will acquire skills or how determined you will be to learn the fundamentals before wanting to move into each particular part of the field. It is a massive undertaking to learn just a small subset ceramics. Each part is very crucial and important. There are no shortcuts and many things can go wrong. However if you take the time to research and then check the sources from which you researched, there is a lot of good information online(along with a lot of bad information too). It is up to you to be able to filter the good and the bad, and then practice correct techniques and good documentation for learning.


However I will say it is highly addictive and super enjoyable. Lots of ups and downs in the learning process. But the ups drastically out weigh the downs. I am self taught(reading, questions, and researching most of what I know). It has been a blast for the 3 years I have been doing this.


It has been a good decision for me. I am a hobbyist though. I do this for a creative outlet, not for a living at this time.


Welcome to the forums, use the search feature and make sure you use " " around the topic your searching and there is vast amounts of great information here.


Let us know what you decide!

#6 Chilly


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Posted 14 April 2017 - 05:24 AM

Potter's Choice glazes from Amaco are supposed to give "reduction" colours in an electric kiln.  There is a Facebook group just for these glazes.




#7 glazenerd


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Posted 14 April 2017 - 06:46 AM







Hi Vesa:


These are four short videos from Paragon Kiln Co for newbie kiln owners. They will give you the basics to get you going, and others are available as you progress. Welcome to the Forums. There are a great many people right here that can give you advice on just about any aspect of pottery.


For safety sake, do not get too close to Fred Sweet while drinking coffee: many have found his beard hair in their cups. :blink:



#8 pritchpat



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Posted 16 April 2017 - 04:29 AM

Take a look at this project sheet gives a similar effect and will walk you through the process.


I used it on some of my pots and loved the effect whilst I learned a lot about how the different glaze applications interacted.





Coffee set



Good luck

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Iron Glaze, glazes, beginner, beginners question, pitted Glaze, mixing Glaze, identify glaze, Book recommendations, recommendation, education

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