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Choosing matte glaze set to gift a ceramics artist

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Hi community,

I am looking to buy a sample set of matte glazes to gift my girlfriend. For a bit of background, she is an architect, and is currently doing a MA in Ceramics. In a couple of months she will start doing her thesis project, and I would love to gift her some inspiring glazes ;).

She likes complex colours, but is not a big fan of shiny finishes. I looked at the Clay-King sets, but did not find any matte ones.

As I am not a ceramics artist, could you suggest any such sets? It would also help me if you share your favorite glaze brands, and with which you have achieved the closest results to the advertized colors.

Any tangent suggestions about glaze types/sets will also be very warmly welcome!

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Hi Yasil,

Welcome to the Forum!

While waiting for responses/input/ideas, can you identify the heat range and clays involved?

Typical heats are low fire (up to cone 1 or so), high fire (cone 10 or so) and mid fire (cone 5/6 or so). Which heat range makes a big difference! Glazes for lower ranges may behave very poorly at higher temps, and those for higher temps may not melt well at lower temps 

In my cone 5/6 experience, the clay also matters. The types and rates of defect;  the fit*, and appearance/color are all influenced by the clay.

Does the school have glaze ingredients and a lab/station for mixing?

*Fit, where extremes crack/ craze at one end, and shiver/flake off at the other.


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Hi Mr. Banner ;)),

Thank you for your reply!

The clay they use at the studio as listed on the website they buy it from is:

"PC 02 S0-2

Plastic ceramic mass (chamotised)

Pebble content 0-2mm fraction - over 30%.

Glaze firing temperature - 1040-1180°C."

I presume there are some ingredients and a very rudimentary mixing setup, but my girl is not very specialized in this area of ceramics (she has a lot more experience with forms, shapes and handbuilding).

If you have any suggestions for excellent clay, which is nice to mold with handbuilding, and behaves well with a certain glaze type, fire (pun intended) your suggestions. Anyway I wanted to include clay as part of the gift as well ;)

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I'm not at all familiar with what is expected in Belgium but is your girlfriend expected to use commercial glazes rather than ones she has mixed herself or the studio glazes for her Masters?

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Could be the second clay on this page:
CERAMIT :: Plastic ceramic masses (clays)
Several of the words match up in the description...
The full string*: PC 02 W2 - 1180 S 0-2

1180°C is a solid cone 5
Looks like the clay is fully mature at cone 5 to 5.5 - aim for that, especially if the ware is to be at all functional.

I've liked working most of the clays I've tried.
Many clays I've liked, there were problems with glaze fit (crazing) and high defect rate (which I attribute to large particles).
I'm using IMCO clays DC 3-5 (white stoneware), Red Velvet Classic and Terry Clay, however, I throw just about everything - the only hand building I do are the actual handles!
I also liked Laguna Clay WC403, a speckled buff, Cone 5

All my glazes are glossy, excepting the Variegated Blue (from Bill Van Gilder's book), which varies between low gloss to a true matt, depending**.
Variegated Slate Blue | Glazy 
It goes on well (when properly adjusted) and fires well***.

I'd like to suggest looking into what students are using at the school's facility - where you can hear what folks have to say about the materials, and, And, see.

Hopefully, you'll get more input from other Forum members.


*Here's the naming convention key:


**on heat work, the cooling rate(s), glaze thickness, the clay, fumes from neighboring wares...

*** on the DC 3-5



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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the replies!

Dont pay attention to my Belgium location (long story), she can do anything with regards to glazing, the uni studio is quite liberal. The pieces are definitely not required to be functional, the goal of the thesis is to choose a theme and develop it through a body of work.

For reference, I have uploaded some pictures of glazes she has used so far (and liked of course). All of the pictures are after firing. I think some of those are slips, and maaaybe underglazes (she was mentioning something about those). But dont quote me on that one... 😅

My idea was to get her a set of ready-made, or almost ready-made glazes, so she can experiment with different colors and finishes, and not spend too much time on painstaking experimentation and debugging, fighting with a defect-prone custom made mixture. At least not for her thesis project...





Edited by Vasil Yordanov
Add images, changed a bit of the text
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Velvet underglazes might be something to consider for sculptural work with no covering glaze overtop. Similar to a coloured slip but can be applied to clay before or after the first (bisque) firing. They are not shiny when left unglazed. They can also be used on top of glazes if the surface is on the outside of a pot where it doesn't come in contact with food or under a glaze (however it's typical to use a clear gloss glaze overtop of them for functional surfaces). They come in a huge array of colours and many stand up to high fire as well as midrange or lowfire work. Velvet underglazes are widely available, link to more info about them here.

It's difficult to recommend a specific line of commercial glazes as not all glazes fit all claybodies.

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