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Opinions On What Glazes To Start With?

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#1 TortoiseAvenger


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Posted 03 July 2014 - 01:46 PM

I'm buying glazes. Due to location, I'm buying them from clay-king.com, unless someone can give me a good reason not to...


Basically I went through and just picked everything I liked, then it occurred to me that I should probably only buy glazes with the same cone #... at least to start. So that narrowed things down.


Here's what I'm thinking of buying:


Amaco Potter's Choice: Saturation Gold, Blue Rutile, Iron Lustre, Ironstone

Coyote cone 6 Glazes: Blue Purple, Pam's Blue, Pam's Green, Really Red, Charcoal Satin

Spectrum Glaze crystals in Reactive Blue and Clear -- thought this would add variety to all glazes


I tired to think of what would get me a range of colors. I'm not partial to yellow or orange pottery, so I think I've got the spectrum covered... Though I'm now realizing I should probably have a white/cream/light neutral thrown in the mix.


What do you think?



#2 Frank Hott

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 02:28 PM

I love Potter's Choice glazes that I've used, but my experience with Saturation Gold has been spotty. I am certain it depends on the thickness of the application and the firing schedule and I haven't had control over the firing schedule.  You may enjoy the Blue Rutile very much, especially over lots of texture. I recommend the Albany Slip Brown....it is one of my favorites. You may want to include Indigo Float and Firebrick Red. I drizzle the Float around the rims and top of the handle. Firebrick is a dark red. I recommend Seaweed Green too.

My experience with Coyote Glazes are positive as well. Pam's Blue is a good choice, but so would be Mottled Blue. Gunmetal Green is an option, but again, the firing schedule is important as to whether you end up with a gloss or matte finish. Archie's Base may offer the neutral glaze you're looking for....cream, and plays well with the other Coyote glazes. Really Red has been, for me, spotty also, some experiences with pinholing....the heatwork is so important to some of these glazes.

I've no experience with Spectrum.

Clay King is a first-rate supplier....fast, great customer service, and brilliant support. Because they're close, I've gotten orders delivered as soon as second day!

Best wishes in your exploration of commercial glazes!

#3 Frank Hott

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 02:30 PM

I have one last bit of advice.....fan brushes!......they're my go-to favorite!

#4 Benzine


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Posted 03 July 2014 - 05:38 PM

I have never had an issue with any of the Amaco glazes I have purchased. They all work well. That said, i have not used those, that you mentioned. Though, I want to say that I ordered one of the last two, for my classroom, this coming year.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#5 NancyAmores


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Posted 03 July 2014 - 06:08 PM

Clay King is my favorite supplier. Orders arrive quickly, the stock is fresh, and is packed/shipped securely with no spills or breakages. Have you checked out the 'Sample Packs' for the Coyote glazes: http://www.clay-king...teglazekits.htm ? They include 12 glazes in 4 oz. containers, for around $30 (most of the ones you mentioned are included). I purchased the 'Favorites' pack and love most of them, though I've only used them for a couple of firings. There is also a GIANT pack if you buy directly from Coyote that gives you samples of all of their 96 glazes for around $200: http://www.coyotecla...ample sets.html   Too giant for me, I'm afraid I couldn't find a use for most of the gloss glazes. The Shinos are particularly nice.


You might also consider Georgie's glazes, they too have sample packs: http://www.georgies....zes-sculp.shtml ('sculptural' series, mostly mattes) and http://www.georgies....zes-stone.shtml (mostly gloss glazes). I'm trying out the sculptural set right now, they're pretty nice but not too many of them 'break' on texture as much as I'd like.


I haven't tried the Amaco PC glazes, as they don't sell small samples and it's too expensive/risky to buy pints I may never use (I make small stuff like jewelry and tile). The Blue Rutile looks rather enticing, though...  I've used some of their low-fire glazes and they're very nice, more 'glassy' feeling than the Duncan or Mayco lines, IMO.


I've only tried Spectrum's 'Low Stone' series for low fire work, but they are my favorites in that firing range. Really, really nice when they are layered. Wish they sold smaller containers so I could try out their mid fire line.


I hope I haven't overwhelmed your choices further, I know it can be a bit daunting looking at all of the options out there! I hope to be mixing my own glazes by next year, but it's been cool to see how certain types of glazes react and layer. It's been a good learning tool until I finally bite the bullet and learn a little glaze chemistry.

Good luck and Happy Glazing!

#6 Pugaboo


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Posted 03 July 2014 - 06:15 PM

I too use Clay king and have had only positive experiences with them. Orders ship super fast and can get them in just a day or two. I bought my kiln, slab roller and most of the rest of my studio equipment and supplies from them. I always wait for a coupon which you can get by signing up on their website. My second favorite is BigCeramicStore and get whatever Clay King doesn't have from them.

I have used only Amaco and Coyote glazes.

One of the things I did because I couldn't decide which colors I would really like enough to invest a lot of money in is I got the coyote 96 bottle sample set that comes with all of Coyotes glaze colors in 4 oz jars. Not a lot but enough to play and test and decide if I like the color enough to spend the money for a larger bottle. I also use Amaco glazes. I have not had good luck with the saturated gold it never comes out looking like the picture or if it does in one area another area is full of pin holes, it's a tricky glaze and others might have had better experience with it than I. I LOVE Blue Rutile it is fabulous over texture! I also really really like Firebrick Red. I am still looking for a gold to compliment the red for a set of dinnerware but that is another discussion.

The only glazes I have bought a gallon of are in order of my purchasing them:
Amaco Zinc Free Clear (an absolute must for underglaze work)
Coyote White
Coyote Sedona Sunset
Coyote Sapphire
Amaco Blue Rutile

I am debating on getting the Amaco firebrick red in a gallon size as well as the coyote cedar shino but have not decided for sure they are just the next 2 colors that intrigue me the most.

I am just now getting ready to mix and test some glazes given to me by oldlady who thinks I am a wimp when it comes to taking this step but that I PROMISE to do tomorrow... Really I do REALLY. Procrastination is a bad bad thing.

The world is but a canvas to the imagination - Henry David Thoreau

#7 bciskepottery


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Posted 03 July 2014 - 07:29 PM

Glazes will look differently on different clay bodies. So, think about your clay body -- white stoneware, brown or red stoneware, porcelain -- when you choose your glazes.

When using commercial glazes, application is the key . . . if you want your pot to look like the ones in the pictures in the ads.

And keep your kiln temperature in mind.

#8 Tristan TDH

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 08:25 AM

Welcome to glazing! Where you can take a great pot and ruin it with a pour and a brushstroke. Not that I'm bitter about glazing or anything.

Anyhoo, In my experience Amaco glazes are great, except for the saturation gold, which is usually grey with a few patches of dull gold in it. I also have a lot of good luck with spectrum glazes,though they tend to run more than other glazes. In my opinion though, the most reliable glazes have been the Mayco stoneware glazes, they seem to consistently come out as expected and don't move off the piece. Amaco is a very close second though, with the exception of the saturation gold and metallic. Whatever you choose, take notes on each piece, including application and layering to make sure you can repeat successes and avoid repeating unpleasant results.

#9 CarlCravens


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Posted 07 July 2014 - 02:45 PM

Clay King could benefit from a website design that doesn't look like they're a fly-by-night company whose site maintenance isn't done by the lowest bidder.


I've ordered from them, but I tend to shy away from them because their website doesn't give me a feeling of confidence.  Glad to hear people speak so highly of them.

Carl (Wichita, KS)

#10 nicolesy



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Posted 09 July 2014 - 07:22 PM

I am just starting out in my studio with my own kiln (instead of working at a community center, etc.) and I have the Coyote sample pack to make my test tiles with. They seem to have a really good selection, and any that I won't use in my functional work I will likely use for beads and misc. items. :)

Nicole S. Young  |  http://ceramics.nicolesy.com

#11 Joseph F

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 12:09 AM

Clayking is amazing, I ordered almost all my supplies from them, including kiln wheel glazes etc, top notch all around super fast shipping and excellent packing.

#12 Tristan TDH

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 10:38 AM

Clayking is amazing, I ordered almost all my supplies from them, including kiln wheel glazes etc, top notch all around super fast shipping and excellent packing.

I'm in complete agreement. I got one of my kilns and most of my glazes and tools from Clay King. Never ever had a problem and if I need to call them they are always very helpful and efficient.



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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:06 AM

Clay King could benefit from a website design that doesn't look like they're a fly-by-night company whose site maintenance isn't done by the lowest bidder.


LOL, Carl, I know what you mean. The first time I saw their site, I was cautious. :ph34r:

I've ordered from Clay-King several times, including my wheel, and have never
been anything but very pleased. :D  Quick shipping, too!

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#14 clayfeetpottery



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Posted 15 July 2014 - 12:01 PM

Hello!  I don't know if you have ad your fill of glaze info but I have used potters choice in my HS classroom for the past 2 years with over 300 students.  I probably have more info on them than I have time to type!


What seems to be popular about them is they create many effects consistently if you layer them. The website shows some tests for their popular colors: deep firebrick, indigo float and one other..(name evading me now)


Sat. gold is a pain..it even says so on their site...but the other metallic have been true to the labels. 

Blue Rutile has some variation due to thickness so it is fun to play with.


Good luck!

-with dirty feet and happy hands,




#15 TortoiseAvenger


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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:58 PM

For now I've decided to make my own glazes. They turned out pretty good!

I'm also interested in the dry look of oxide washes...

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