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susieblue

Best Book For Beginning Glaze Making

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Hi All,

 

I am looking for glaze book recommendations for beginners. Like most artists I am a visual learner so that would be helpful to take into account. I currently work with earthenware clays so it would need to address low fire glazes.

 

Fortunately I have most of the raw materials in my studio which came in a lot purchased off a former 1970s potter (who also worked with low fire clays and glazes). The collection is probably about 90% complete and even has a few materials no longer being mined - and a number that are now considered unsafe because of lead, cadmium, etc. Of course, I know to be extra careful working with these and to not use them for functional wares.

 

I had hoped I could just start my glaze making experience by following some recipes I have found online and learning as i go along. I now realize that to achieve the best results I need to gain a stronger understanding of the chemistry involved. (I chose physics over chemistry in high school so am seriously lacking in general knowledge of this science to begin with)

 

I would love to get some recommendations from other potters, especially on which glaze making books got other self-taught potters started.

 

Thank you. 

 

 

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If you are a visual learner, consider John Britt's video http://ceramicartsdaily.org/bookstore/understanding-glazes/

 

Also, his recent book on mid-fire glazes is a good how to book that applies to making/tweaking glazes regardless of temperature  http://johnbrittpottery.com/

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Can't recommend any good low fire books as I high fire but I second John britt, he has some good videos on youtube showing the process of testing glazes.

 

I started by finding recipes online and firing them to see what happens then slowly learn the chemistry. You don't need to know the chemistry to get a good glaze but it is good to know a bit when trying to fix problems or tweaking to bring out a certain aesthetic.

 

If you want to find out more about the oxides you are using go to digital fire http://digitalfire.com/4sight/oxide/index.html

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Fear not the chemistry!! An understanding of it can only help your work!!

 

 

If you are missing some early chemistry, you should look up the concepts of mole weight and reduction reactions, otherwise a great number of things in glaze chem will be very confusing. Neither one is terribly complicated, but without that,it's like trying to spell in English without the letters T and N. (O goig o make sese i places.)

Also, being able to cross multiply in math is helpful.

 

Once those are a go, Clay and Glazes for the Potter by Daniel Rhodes is textbook. No really, it's used as a glaze chem textbook in college programs. Don't be afraid of it!!! It's aimed at potters, not chemists. It addresses how to build glazes at all temps, and talks about what the different materials do in the melt. The edition I have even talks briefly about lead. I won't lie, it's a bit of a dry read in a couple of spots, but even if you only ever use pre-prepared glazes, understanding how they will work together is valuable.

 

I also agree The DigitalFire website can fill in a lot of things you'll have questions about.

 

Www.digitalfire.com has some video tutorials on how to use their software, Insight, that shed light on how the chemistry works, but it's best to have a passing familiarity with some of the materials (see above) They also allow you to download their software on a free trial basis for I believe 60 days. Long enough to poke around with a few things, and take one of the glaze recipes you already have and troubleshoot it.

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If you are a visual learner, consider John Britt's video http://ceramicartsdaily.org/bookstore/understanding-glazes/

 

Also, his recent book on mid-fire glazes is a good how to book that applies to making/tweaking glazes regardless of temperature  http://johnbrittpottery.com/

SusieBlue,

 I completely second this suggestion. John Britt is clear and concise. He tell you enough and but not enough to make your head explode with too much information. He gives information you can use.

 Pick a few of his glazes and do color tests on them.

 Take one of his classes and that will be even better.

 He is really nice too and will not make you feel lacking no matter what you ask him.

 Good choice Bciske,

 

 CR

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Many thanks to everyone. I did download John Britt's videos and they are very helpful. Wish i could take one of his classes but, alas, NC is a long way from CT   I will check out the other suggestions,too.  Thanks to the community for so many great responses.

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