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Rebekah Krieger

Making Your Own Glaze

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So other than using publicly shared recipes and having Glazemixer make batches for me, I am going to begin my venture into creating my own glazes.  I am ordering Britt's glaze dvd and Steven Hill's Surface techniques dvd.  Is there another dvd that you would recommend? Any other starting points I should consider? 

 

Neil- I have considered taking your class possibly in the spring/ summer when road conditions will not prevent my 1.5 hr commute. I learn much better hands on and visually rather than reading it.  

 

 

I am also wondering since i do not have any glaze making components if there is a sort of "basics starter test bundle" available somewhere or If I should just purchase them one at a time? I only want to purchase small portions until I settle on a glaze recipe. Thoughts?

 

 

 

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I'd love to have you in the summer class! Here's a PDF with the materials that I keep in my studio. Start by just buying whatever materials you need for the glazes you want to make, and add as you go. You can make a lot of really nice glazes with just:

 

Custer Feldspar

Nepheline Syenite

Whiting

Flint

Frit 3134

Gillespie Borate

Dolomite

EPK

 

These materials make up the bulk of the 15 glazes we use in my studio. Then you just need metallic oxides or stains for color.

 

Find 3 glaze recipes you really like- a gloss, a satin and a matte- and make 2 or 3 colors of each and you'll be set. Make sure you have a good mix of transparent and opaque glazes.

 

Estrick Glaze Materials.pdf

Estrick Glaze Materials.pdf

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Neil! What a handy glaze materials PDF. I really wish I had that about three nights ago when I spent three hours poring through four different books to make a similar guide for my first upcoming glaze project. ;-)

 

At least yours is more complete than mine, haha.

 

Seriously though, great resource and thanks for sharing!

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Happy to share. I culled it together from various sources. I give this to my glaze formulation class as a basic overview of the materials I use in my studio, which is a much smaller inventory that a lot of studios I know. Most of my students have little to no experience with glaze formulation or even glaze mixing, so I try to keep it fairly simple and focus on testing methods and altering glazes to work for them. We do some formulation from scratch as well, but they get overwhelmed pretty quickly since they don't have much knowledge of the materials. So we look at limit formulas a lot, and how to choose materials for specific needs, and the importance of alumina and silica. Once they start mixing and testing glazes their insecurity fades pretty quickly when they realize that they can't really do any major damage during the testing phases.

nairda likes this

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Neil, thanks for posting the list of those glazes.

 

I to, am slowly getting into mixing my own glaze, and often wondered what the basic set of materials I would need, would be.

 

I just picked up "Mastering Cone 6 Glazes", and have started reading it. 

 

I'm not getting too far into glazing yet.  My kiln is still sitting, powerless, where it's been for the past two years....

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I only just started making my own glazes about half a year ago and still only have two recipes that I make!

 

I started with one, and from that I messed about with the recipe and ended up with two good base glazes to add colourants to. I think that is a good way to start. Now I am slowly experimenting with my second glaze.

 

Nice to try and get as much from one recipe as you can and it gives you more understanding of each material. I just made lots of little bowls to start firing single glaze materials to see what happens in the kiln but my laziness and broken kiln has not let me get round to that :P

 

Neil's list of basics looks like a good place to start, keep it simple, make it work.

 

I have this which could be a place to start... https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uNNIyESjMwv4tUn50A6lhbRquP3cGWqR9hlYBZMWjAM/edit?usp=sharing

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I have been making my own glaze for a little over a year now.  I am no expert, but have had good instruction.  It takes hours and hours of testing and firing.  Here is a video that I made following the way several potters that I know as well as some noted potters on you tube, Hsin-Chin Lin, and Simon Leach mix their glazes.

 

 

Here is another thing that I learned recently that others may already know.

 

Perhaps this tip helps.

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Yep. This holds true for any type of clay. When you dip a pot in glaze, the wall of the pot must take in the water, leaving the glaze deposited on the surface. It must take in enough water to leave a properly thick layer of glaze on the surface. With a thin walled pot, if you dip the whole thing at once, the wall will become totally saturated as it absorbs water from both sides, preventing either side from getting a thick enough glaze layer. It just can't take in enough water. Also with a thin walled pot, if you glaze the inside first, the wall becomes mostly or completely saturated with the water from the glaze, preventing it from absorbing enough water and taking on enough glaze when you dip the outside. Best to glaze the inside, let it dry overnight, then glaze the outside.

 

Thin is good, but too thin just causes problems.

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I have been making my own glaze for a little over a year now.  I am no expert, but have had good instruction.  It takes hours and hours of testing and firing.  Here is a video that I made following the way several potters that I know as well as some noted potters on you tube, Hsin-Chin Lin, and Simon Leach mix their glazes.

 

 

Here is another thing that I learned recently that others may already know.

 

Perhaps this tip helps.

 

In your first video I'm not quite sure about why you are dry mixing the glaze ingredients prior to adding water. You are making a lot of dust unnessasarily, the silica dust will stay airborne for hours. It's not just the dust you can see thats a problem, there will be fine dust floating around for a day or so. Your jiffy mixer and sieving twice will disperse all the ingredients well without dry mixing. (I put the clay component in the bucket first then the heavy settlers after that then wet mix and sieve)

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I have been making my own glaze for a little over a year now.  I am no expert, but have had good instruction.  It takes hours and hours of testing and firing.  Here is a video that I made following the way several potters that I know as well as some noted potters on you tube, Hsin-Chin Lin, and Simon Leach mix their glazes.

 

 

Here is another thing that I learned recently that others may already know.

 

Perhaps this tip helps.

 

In your first video I'm not quite sure about why you are dry mixing the glaze ingredients prior to adding water. You are making a lot of dust unnessasarily, the silica dust will stay airborne for hours. It's not just the dust you can see thats a problem, there will be fine dust floating around for a day or so. Your jiffy mixer and sieving twice will disperse all the ingredients well without dry mixing. (I put the clay component in the bucket first then the heavy settlers after that then wet mix and sieve)

 

 

I agree. I always put the clay into the bucket of water first, then everything else. Keeps the dust way down. You will have to dry mix the bentonite with one of the other ingredients, probably the kaolin.

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I only just started making my own glazes about half a year ago and still only have two recipes that I make!

 

I started with one, and from that I messed about with the recipe and ended up with two good base glazes to add colourants to. I think that is a good way to start. Now I am slowly experimenting with my second glaze.

 

Great advice I think. A base glaze which you like and can add to. Can get sucked in to buying a lot of chemicals for a variety of glazes but I bet most people end up with a few go to glazes which please them.

It's always interesting to try  to establish new ones for  different lines of work but to start with I think that High Bridge in on the mark.

When mixing glazes I do the clay in first as above, but if time permits I leave the whle bucket to slake overnight then seive.

Having learned that some don't seive but just agitate, I'm going to try that with my new drill bit head thingie.

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I'd love to have you in the summer class! Here's a PDF with the materials that I keep in my studio. Start by just buying whatever materials you need for the glazes you want to make, and add as you go. You can make a lot of really nice glazes with just:

 

Custer Feldspar

Nepheline Syenite

Whiting

Flint

Frit 3134

Gillespie Borate

Dolomite

EPK

 

These materials make up the bulk of the 15 glazes we use in my studio. Then you just need metallic oxides or stains for color.

 

Find 3 glaze recipes you really like- a gloss, a satin and a matte- and make 2 or 3 colors of each and you'll be set. Make sure you have a good mix of transparent and opaque glazes.

 

attachicon.gifEstrick Glaze Materials.pdf

Good start for a glaze kitchen. Custer, however, is not consistent anymore. You're lucky if you have a stockpile. The alternative G 200 Feldspar is going, if not gone and will be replaced with a similar spar from Spain. For those just starting to mix their own glazes, it's good to learn about material availability and consistency. So while it makes sense to buy small amounts from a from a financial or space perspective, if your production isn't high, be aware that testing each new purchase may save you some trouble. 

 

Ruth

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Rebby, it's too bad you don't live closer to me! The Central PA Potters are having their next meeting on April 6th and will be discussing glaze making.

Oh tell me about it! I don't live near anyone!! The closet person is Neil which is a pretty big drive.  

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If you're buying full bags of material, a drive can be worth it. Shipping can get pricey unless you're buying full pallets. When I lived in Iowa I used to drive 4 hours to Minneapolis for clay and glaze materials. I'd just buy a 6 month supply to make it worthwhile.

 

If you want to come down here, let me know what you want and I can get it in for you.

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This can be easy or as complicated as you want it to be. From adding colorants to a commercial clear glaze to analyzing the chemical formulas of each ingredient.

 Clay "fit" is how it reacts to your clay body so have you decided on a clay body?

What cone are you going to fire at and do you want to do a several cone fire range?

 

Check out the books, The Potter's Complete Book of Clay and Glazes by James Chappell

Clay and Glazes for the Potter by Daniel Rhodes

Find as much info as possible and experiment...record everything, happy accidents are the hardest to repeat.

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You might think about a test kiln so you can run frequent test without feeling the 'need' to fill it up. The changing of firing schedules will yield a variety of results from the same clay. If you do get a test kiln try and match it to your large kiln with firing schedules that match so they have the same rate of rise and cooling. I got a rather small one (1cf) and kind of regret it. If I had gotten a  2-3 CF then we could run larger test. Dinner plates for instance will not fit and a tall vase would not either, but having a test kiln has worked well and it gets used a lot. 

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Thank you to everyone who has given me great advice.  I do have a small second kiln but it is not controlled so i would only be able to test glazes rather than firing schedules in it.  I am excited for the possible variety here.. I have SO many glaze recipes I want to try as well. <3  Now if only life would chill out a little bit so I can get to it already!!! 

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